Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

My Photo
Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Silver Metal Lover

I'm a scientist who doesn't read science fiction. With the exception of S.L. Viehl's Stardoc series, I don't think I've even attempted to read science fiction in the last decade. Tanith Lee's The Silver Metal Lover, however, comes up so often on blog and LJ recommendations that I gave it a try. (Said recommendations can be flawed: exhibit A, Tam Lin, pretentious shite that made a dent in my wall.)

I liked The Silver Metal Lover, though.

The premise is simple: Jane is a spoiled, rich girl living in a futuristic society. One day she "meets" Silver, a type of nearly-human robot. The chance encounter leads to obsession and eventually, love.

Jane inhabits the rarified world of the super-rich, where everyone is fashionably bored and possessed of a cruel wit. They have names like Medea and Egyptia. Jane's mother is Demeta, although my brain read it as the much more accurate "Dementia." (The woman was ghastly.)

I read somewhere that nearly all female protagonists are a form of Cinderella. I don't know if that's true, but I suppose weak parallels could be found in Jane. Jane, however, gets her Prince Charming, Silver, early in the story. Although one cover blurb calls the story a romance, it doesn't follow the formula familiar to Romance readers. Jane doesn't get a happily-ever-after; there is no hot sex. (The book was originally published in the 80s. I wonder, had it debuted now, if Lee's editor would have asked her to amp up the sex.)

Instead of a wicked stepmother, she has a dreadful overbearing mother. The stepsisters are her so-called friends. With the exception of friend Clovis, who is ultimately more like a fairy (heh, literally, as he's gay) godmother. As an agent of change, Silver might also occupy the role.

The big concept, for those in search of such things, is the idea that consciousness or sentience can give rise to a soul. Fortunately, it's wrapped up in a character-driven story. Another strength is the author's avoidance of technology overload: no constant stream of high tech whirligigs and thingamajigs.

Anyway, this SF-avoiding, hopeless romantic found The Silver Metal Lover a darned good read.


Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005