Android Love, Human Skin
by Richard Godwin
Black Jackal Books
Publication Date: March 17th, 2018
Get a copy here!
Welcome to a world of four genders.
A dystopian science fiction novel that explores the nature of gender and sexual conflict and the addition to pleasure in a virtual world.
Welcome to the four genders in a future with no planned conflict, a utopia of pleasure engineered by the union.
Society has been revolutionised by gender control and the technologisation of man and woman. In a future where a biochemical weapon has removed the skins of the population, the rulers hunt for the beautiful ones, those men and women who still have skins. The union is the new government, a faceless body of politicians who were behind the order to use the weapon that backfired on them, leaving them skinless.
In the glass citadel, the new utopia, where the only surviving humans with skin are placed, they recreate the world of gender by offering humans four types of robot with which to have relationships. All the humans are placed in relationships with machines, apart from Gerald, who appears to be a spy for the union and is filming the humans, and Elliott, a robot programmer. The union watches it all, political voyeurs in a totalitarian state of enforced sexual ecstasies.
Humanity falls into four categories…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Richard Godwin is the critically acclaimed author of Apostle Rising, Mr. Glamour, One Lost Summer, Noir City, Meaningful Conversations, Confessions Of A Hit Man, Paranoia And The Destiny Programme, Wrong Crowd, Savage Highway, Ersatz World, The Pure And The Hated, Disembodied, Buffalo And Sour Mash, Locked In Cages, Crystal On Electric Acetate, The Glass House, Android Love, Human Skin, and Insincerity. His stories have been published in numerous paying magazines and over 34 anthologies, among them an anthology of his stories, Piquant: Tales Of The Mustard Man, and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Mystery, alongside Lee Child. He was born in London and lectured in English and American literature at the University of London. He also teaches creative writing at University and workshops. You can find out more about him at his website http://www.richardgodwin.net , where you can read a full list of his works, and where you can also read his Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse, his highly popular and unusual interviews with other authors.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/stanzazone
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Quick Reasons: interesting plot; intriguing story/characters; weirdly written snippets that read more like mini-stories than a novel; fascinating world-building
Huge thanks to Richard Godwin, Black Jackal Books, and Rachel’s Random Resources for sending a free digital galley of this title my way in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
This was a fascinating read, for sure. The world-building is intriguing, though I felt like it left a bit to be desired in terms of bridging the gap between characters and the world. While I anticipated there would be a certain amount of bedroom scenes, I felt as if the only place we ever really saw these characters was in bedroom snippets–and I mean snippets literally.
There was a weird amount of very short, very snapshot-like chapters. I didn’t feel we were given a proper amount of time with each character to be able to get to know THEM fully–instead, we got tiny glimpses into their lives, but only in the middle of things like eating and coupling. The outside world was lost to the smallest moments in bedrooms, in dining rooms. While I got the general idea, I felt like there were too many characters being focused on, and therefore not enough actual focusing happening.
This was an interesting and entertaining read, though I felt like it was more “snapshot stories” than “fully realized novel.” The world-building was good, though there was a bit of a disconnect between the characters and the outside world–and quite a large obsession with sexual favors. I’d recommend this read to lovers of erotic sci fi, futuristic worlds, and thought-provoking perspectives. Is your skin real, Penguins…or merely “human?”