“We don’t get visitors. Not out here. We never have.”
I’ve been introduced to a new sub-genre: Social Sci-Fi, which made such sense. I guess the books like Station Eleven, The Dreamers, etc. will fall under these category. I think I am a fan of this category as well!
Foe is a short but strong book.
Junior and Henrietta (Hen) live in the middle of nowhere…One day a man called Terrence arrives. He’s from a company working with the government. He declares himself as the bringer of good news. Oh, annoying as he seems, he speaks professionally. He knows his business.
Junior has been selected/long listed as a possible candidate to go to space to start installation of a new settlement. This will take a long time, if he actually gets selected. So he will need to leave Hen alone. But they’ve thought everything. They have a solution for Hen, so that she doesn’t feel lonely.
“Being alone, it’s a tricky thing. It’s good for us, in doses, but not for a prolonged period. And not when you’re not used to it. Her life here is with you, Junior. But we’ll ensure she has company while you’re away. It’s going to make a world of difference.”
Oh, god this was such a good read. Spot on to say it’s for fans of Black Mirror, so true. Even the names of the characters are beautifully put, Hen(!) and Junior.
Look at how Junior describes Hen:
She can been erratic at times, frustrating, unpredictable, and, recently, standoffish. But she’s supported me through everything. That’s what a relationship is for: mutual support and acceptance. No one understands me the way she does. And that means something. To me, it means everything.
It’s not an eventful book, but a psychological and philosophical story set between 3 characters, a touch of science fiction but not heavy on sci-fi side at all. A book about loneliness, being individuals in a marriage, understanding each other, or maybe not understanding at all. How easy to spare someone?
I can see this book could easily be adapted to a theatre play or a movie. There are a few surprises in the end, it’s delicately and cleverly hinted on the go and you can realise what’s going on if you look carefully…
I love it when a writer captures a situation in 250-ish pages, not using one unnecessary word. This is one of the short and powerful books.
I am happy to discover Iain Reid, will be reading more from him in the future.
Thanks for the publisher, and NetGalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
Foe will be published on January 24th, 2019