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Children of Morrow and Treasures of Morrow by H.M. Hoover

3/5. Vintage (so vintage it's not even on Kindle) post-apocalyptic YA. Two pre-teens living in a repressive paternalistic micro-society run away, guided by the voices of other survivors they can hear in their heads.

So I think Children of Morrow might well be the first science fiction I ever read as a child. It's certainly the first that mattered. And it made a hell of an impression on me -- I've been looking for this book again for about twenty years. And here it is, with a sequel!

So anyway, this informed a lot of my narrative inclinations, I think. Probably filled the niche that Mercedes Lackey did for a lot of my peers in that this, too, is about the very special children who are isolated by their specialness and go on an arduous journey to find their true home.

I will say that, as a child, I didn't grasp the true creepiness of this world. It doesn't lie in the post destruction Northern California landscape, as I thought, or in the violence inherent in the society the protagonists flee. No, the creepiness is solidly in the home they flee to, which is cozily nonviolent . . . oh and also deeply and quietly oppressive. I honestly can't tell what Hoover thought she was doing here; much is made of Morrow's superiority in intelligence which, it is implied, explains its lack of gendered power structures. And which also underlies its, um, restrictive breeding program. Awk-ward. I honestly can't tell what is irony and what is genuine enthusiasm for a "better world." A lot less irony going around than I would like, is where I came down.

It's also amazing what you don't remember. I had zero recollection of the rather casual mention of a prior abduction and forced impregnation, I imagine because I didn't understand it at all (see also: Morrow is totally morally superior you guys, ahahahahah. Ha. Ha). The WTF faces I made when that came up were quite epic.

Points for nostalgia. And for the landscape, which pried open bits of my pre-teen brain that had never seen light before. And for young children of power. But yikes.

Date: 2016-01-18 07:47 pm (UTC)
boxofdelights: (Default)
From: [personal profile] boxofdelights
There was a time when eugenics was all over SF written by women. And I was reading SF during that time, but I was a kid, and didn't notice it.

I am curious about it now, and I wonder:

What time period was that, exactly?
Is my sense that it was more common in books by women than by men correct? If so, why?
What were they thinking?
Why did it stop?

Would you say that these are books I should include if I make an investigation of the phenomenon?

Date: 2016-01-18 07:59 pm (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
Treasures of Morrow was the first SF book I read that made me go looking for more by that author. My elementary school library had that but not Children of Morrow. It was around 1975, so I had no way to confirm that there actually was an earlier book until I found it at the public library.

Hoover's books generally are dystopias from the point of view of people who don't realize things are broken. I still like the ones I read as a child/tween/teen, but every single one I've approached from about the age of 16 on, I've bounced off of because I keep going, "Wait. Wait. What? That's terrible!" when I look at the societies.

Date: 2016-01-19 02:23 am (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
It was pretty obvious from Treasures that there had to be a previous book. There were too many references to important events. I couldn't believe that the story started where Treasures did.

I read The Rains of Eridan shortly after those two books, and I really bonded with that one. It's interesting in that the point of view character for the whole book is an adult. Looking at it now... There's a definite, mostly off screen oligarchy. There's a disease that makes people get really paranoid and mutiny and murder each other, and later, when outside forces come in, there are executions in spite of those people not being fully responsible.

Date: 2016-01-18 09:44 pm (UTC)
coffeeandink: (Default)
From: [personal profile] coffeeandink
I loved these as a kid, but I have to admit the eugenics went straight over my head. I don't remember that part at all.

Date: 2016-01-18 11:32 pm (UTC)
yunitsa: Sexby and Angelica from The Devil's Whore; 17th c. woman in dark cloak with man in hat behind her (Default)
From: [personal profile] yunitsa
Oh man, this was also among the first SF I read - I hunted down everything else the local library had by Hoover (which didn't include the sequel), and then everything with the UFO sticker on the spine.

I have no memory of the plot at all. I don't think I'd want to re-read it now...

Date: 2016-01-18 11:39 pm (UTC)
cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)
From: [personal profile] cyphomandra
I read the first one of these and don't remember any of the eugenics! (although - is there a scene where someone's foot gets eaten by a carnivorous snail, or am I totally mixing up memories?). For me it was Hoover's This Time of Darkness that I obsessed over, possibly because the heroine is special because she can read, and because I loved the idea of an underground decaying city. I haven't reread it for years, tho' ...

Date: 2016-01-20 01:40 am (UTC)
cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)
From: [personal profile] cyphomandra
What with that and the bit in Willard Price's South Sea Adventure (terrible series) where a guy gets his foot stuck in a giant clam and drowns slowly as the tide came in I'm not sure how my parents ever managed to get me near a beach!

Date: 2016-01-20 01:52 am (UTC)
norah: Monkey King in challenging pose (Default)
From: [personal profile] norah
WAIT, I REMEMBER THESE. I am TOTALLY CURIOUS to read them again. Where did you find them?


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