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Characters The Courier's New Bicycle

Read ✓ The Courier's New Bicycle 102 ß [PDF / Epub] ☉ The Courier's New Bicycle ❤ Kim Westwood – A beautifully written story of the near future and its murky underworld A beautifully written story of the near future and its murky underworld.And its murky underwor. I'm really disappointed this book isn't better known and easily available with secondhand paperback copies thin and expensive on the ground and the publisher only offering it as print on demand or KindleI found out about the story through a talk on Australian science fiction where a panelist discussed the basic premise and I thought it sounded amazing and it certainly didn't disappoint Australian SF writers need to be better known and this one is important because it is set in Melbourne and undeniably Australian in its feel This isn't really a story about science fiction as very few sciencespeculative fiction books are It's about gender fertility animal rights religious extremism basic new romance etc It's also about trying to be a good person in a corrupt world – where religion and morals are so completely divorced from one anotherI have to admit to expecting ahead of the plot because I thought I saw set ups that weren’t carried through for example I thought Inez would be revealed as dealing with the enemy and something would happen to the cat I mean come on when someone’s involved in a dark underworld and the author is waxing lyrical about how desperately important the main character’s pet is you know the kitty’s going to get itI also feel like the animal liberationist part was at some points a step too far Westwood is already beating the drum for gender euality and making so many other righteous cautious points to then have to go into animal rights I was almost a bit caused outThe scariest type of SF for me is the stuff which is really only a few years ahead of where we are right now – making its warnings all the vivid Already this year there has been scandals involving surrogacy laws and Australians – and the return of faith based hate crimesOne of my favourite books of this genre is Atwood's Handmaiden's Tale and there's a lot reminiscent with the dystopian Melbourne of this book

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A beautifully written s. Not being one for speculative fiction this isn't a book that I would have sought out even with its cross genre aspects However THE COURIER'S NEW BICYCLE was being talked about a lot by my fellow Sisters in Crime and I'm not completely opposed to the occasional foray outside my comfort zone so all in all the recommendations seemed like a good enough reason to try it outIt did take a little while to work out the style of the book Westwood has developed a laid back ironic almost gentle sort of a style which initially doesn't uite seem to gel with many aspects of the story It actually took a little while to grasp how important many of the sub texts of this story are because of the style Particularly as this is not a book that has a happy outlook for our futures It's profoundly disturbing to think about the lengths that people will go to in their pursuit of personal gratification in this case post a pandemic that has rendered a large proportion of the population sterile making fertility treatment the new must have That must have is pursued ethically and unethically despite the mindless dogma of the religious zealots in charge of government; despite the breathtaking cruelty to other speciesIn this world Salisbury Forth gender transgressive courier of contraband hormones is a protagonist with issues uniue to this particular time and setting An activist working to free animals from the cruelty hormone factory farms Sal is also trying to find love stay alive in a dangerous place avoid the worst excesses of the religious oppression of the other and keep hearth and home safe It's almost like Sal has set out to become the ultimate target flying in the face of the rules and norms of gender the keeping of certain pet animals owning a bicycle working as a courier of contraband hormones the ethical kind fighting the source of the unethical kindIt was also rather surprising to find a bicycle almost a character in the book In Westwood's future Melbourne a bicycle is a highly sought after article Sal's love for and reliance on that bicycle was a palpable and meaningful part of who Sal is There is a lot going on in THE COURIER'S NEW BICYCLE and perhaps it was the slightly laid back style but in the early parts of the book I did struggle uite a lot to engage and to keep up with the unexpectedness the other worldliness of the entire world that Westwood is building As I got a handle on the style and the breadth of the issues being covered revealed themselves everything started to work a lot better For readers who prefer crime mystery fiction there is a traditional mystery element to this book but really the main point is the view of future Melbourne the building of an entire world in which human activities happen life love partnership hate killing the whole gamut Twisted to suit the time and the place and particular circumstances All of which built people and a place that were often fascinating not always particularly likeableIf absolutely nothing else was achieved by reading THE COURIER'S NEW BICYCLE and that's not accurate it's a book that certainly made me glad to be on the old woman side of life As this book describes a future world that I'd want absolutely no part of I was profoundly relieved to realise I'd be unlikely to live long enough to have to Which says a lot about the experience of the book

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The Courier's New BicycleTory of the near future. The Courier’s New Bicycle is Kim Westwood’s second novel and its nice and compact at 327 pages Playing wonderfully to my own biases and beliefs Westwood has taken some of my dark fears and made a scary reality of themThe World The world of The Courier’s New Bicycle is a near future Melbourne Australia is in the midst of a fertility crises caused by a compromised H1N1 vaccine The population is largely infertile and while several fertility companies sprang up to deal with the crisis a swing in power to the religious right sees these companies outlawed The resultant Australian cultural landscape is a dominionist’s wet dreamWith power In the grip of religious fanatics anything outside of very hetero normative ideals of gender are held in contempt Hessian frocked prayer groups wander the streets laying on hands and Neighbourly Watch lurks like a synthesis between the Gestapo and a Christian version of the Mutaween Our Protagonist The Courier’s New Bicycle features a “gender transgressive” protagonist Salisbury Forth Sal has achieved a comfortable for Sal gender identity that sits between male and female Sal is a courier for an ethical hormone supplier and is good at the job genetically gifted with a body for it Sal becomes a reluctant detective when unknown parties target the boss’ business When Sal’s friend Albee is injected with kit laced with pesticides the business war becomes personal Is it a dystopia I’m not sure I find it an all too plausible reality one that only reuires a few changes to get to it from present day Australia Westwood has done an excellent job of extending current circumstances political social environmental and religious She tweaks recognisable institutions and extrapolates current Australian culture with skillThe conservative party both religiously and politically Nation First is eerily close to a combination of Family First and One Nation The contempt in which “gender transgessives” are held is not too different from conservative values held by the majority of the Australian population – only in The Courier’s New Bicycle hatred of “The Other” is given the imprimatur of both state and religionOn Gender The novel has an androgynous protagonist and is at least in part an exploration of the life and experiences of ‘The Other’ Whether ‘The Other’ be the transgendered the animal activist the immigrant or the socially undesirable street racers Now I don’t know if it’s the fact that I have been fortunate enough to listen to uality gender discussions and that I am comfortable in my gendersexuality but I didn’t find that exploration at all uncomfortable or confronting The treatment of said characters by the over zealous religious society inflamed my internal sense of social justice but the treatment itself is sadly all too close to what ‘The Other’ experience in the here and now For a reader who has lived a very sheltered life their response will no doubt be differentFor me I am just happy to have a cracking good story whose protagonist and supporting characters are drawn from genderueer and other diverse communitiesWhat impressed me There’s a tangibility to Westwood’s world building I don’t know Melbourne all that well but it feels to me that she’s captured the essence of the city and then cloaked it in this oppressive tension The spectre of Neighbourly Watch always in the background and the fact that Sal’s entire life is pretty much illegalHonestly The Courier’s New Bicycle is a great read an Australian speculative fiction novel with elements of crime drama thrown in When people think speculative fiction is just shooting rockets at Jupiter or dog fights in space press this into their handA beautiful sketch of darkly shaded future that I hope never comes to pass