St I m not even going to talk about how the incumbent government was planning to stay in power by conspiring to get a redneck elected president in return for finding him a virgin redneck girl to marry Only the FBI agent sent to find said girl beds her before bringing her back and then the redneck and his new bride die when their yacht sinks while they have sex Oh and a grammarian literally dies of a heart attack from hearing the redneck put four prepositions at the end of a sentenceYes it s as bad as it soundsSince the dialogue is so confusing and the actions that dialogue seems to precipitate make no sense I spent the majority of the book turning the pages and remarking This book is FUBAR Ordinarily that s not a good thing and Sex and the High Command is not one of those rare it s so crazy it s brilliant exceptions It is FUBARThematically this book is a mess I will ignore the fact of its anti feminism declaiming that would be futile and focus only on the unrealistic portrayal of its feminist antagonists Yet another one of those pesky relativistic ualifications the feminist movement as we know it today was very young in that era and it s not like Boyd could go online and do a couple hours research on the subject the non existence of the Internet was also probably an obstacle to such an endeavour And the movement was scary to those in power as change always is Still Boyd grievously misrepresents the feminist platformThe most striking example comes toward the end of the book after the women have assumed power and are making it ever harder for men to be men and small green furry creatures from Alpha Centauri to be small green furry creatures from Alpha Centauri Boyd has the women led by the Mother Presiding Dr Carey hyper feminize America And in so doing those same women are behaving like non feminist women who ust happen to have homicidal urges any time they see a man who isn t blindly docile to the New Logic of women Whereas feminism now focuses on gender euality and eliminating difference Boyd s feminists exhibit traits that modern feminism claims exist primarily because of male dominance in society ergo in a female dominated or gender eual society those traits would be minimized or non existent As a result while Sex and the High Command probably stands as an interesting example of how reactionaries viewed the fledgling feminist movement of the 1960s it s hardly a valid critiue of that movementSo Sex and the High Command is neither an intellectually stimulating polemic nor a rousing adventure novel It has no interesting characters very little clever or even cogent dialogue and a distinct absence of plot or true resolution So already this book has managed to alienate the two largest non disjoint sets of SF readers those who seek profound themes and those who L'Attaque des Titans T28 just want to relax and read a good story Only those interested in historical artifacts or people like me who will read something that they suspect is awfulust for that suspicion will find this book appealing But that may be optimism on my partBecause repetition is key yes it s as bad as it sounds. Eam designed to do away with superfluous men It spelled WAR BETWEEN THE SEXES.
Nogenesis drug marketed under the name Vita Lerp and collouially called a V bomb As a result America s women are flocking to the FEM Freedom Euality and Motherhood party to support Carey as a presidential candidate and literally eliminate men as superfluous uantities Hansen falls in with several high ranking military officers and key cabinet members to plot how to take the United States back from these crazy manslaughtering womenYes it s as bad as it soundsLet me set the thematic elements aside for the moment and solely focus on how badly written the book is To be fair I have read worse John Boyd actually has a very good command of the English language both in vocabulary and syntax It s clear he loves describing naval operations in detail he doesn t ust say the ship docked but spends entire pages showing us the operation Those interested in reading naval fiction might get out of this book than I didAs a story however Sex and the High Command severely lacks anything resembling a sensible plot or realistic character development Again my context is a little vague here What resources I could turn up seem to indicate that this isn t satire but it belongs to a school of sci fi that s tongue in cheek in its approach bordering on absurdism but not uite philosophically adept enough to earn that label It reads like a Saturday Night Live sketch that s 212 pages long and has also ingested steroidsTo be clear I m not ragging on absurdist flavoured fiction I m a huge fan of The Hitchhiker s Guide to the Galaxy while I couldn t uite get through Catch 22 the first time I was only in grade 6 so I figure I have an excuse I m going to try again soon But even absurdist literature might have a point this book does not Both its characters and its plot are utterly superfluous excise both from the book and the same story minus the fanciful names remains in its uestionable gloryMost of Sex and the High Command is dialogue and most of that dialogue makes no sense whatsoever I spent all my time as bewildered as the main character Captain Hansen who also has no idea what is going on Normally this shared bewilderment creates a sense of empathy between reader and protagonist To some extent that s true here Hansen s probably the least worst character in the book but any hope of identifying with Hansen is scuttled in the very first chapter by the way he arrives home after his tour of duty waltzing into his house and expecting his wife and daughter to be waiting for him full of analogies about how he runs his home like a boat Right I m aware that this is probably ust the novel showing its age combined with my inability to put myself in a 1970s male mindset but I was prejudiced against Hansen from the startThe trouble is Boyd s straw men feminists pun intended are so flimsy that it s impossible to identify with them either The reader is left watching insane protagonists the de facto leader of whom is intent on nuking the continental United States and even insane antagonists The method by which the women gain power forcing the incumbent government to flee to Greenland is specious at be. N candidate for president and the perfector of VITA LERP a biological skin cr.
Very un entertaining book Reminiscent of Dr Strangelove this is fine satire Any attempt to take it seriously would indicate a faulty sense of humorMy favorite partWhere s this boy you done been spoke for to with atA thud from Steward s direction caused Hansen to glance over and down to see that the grammarian operative had toppled from his stool In the blue light of the radio shack Hansen could see the eyes staring into infinity and he knew that faulty grammar had killed the grammarian A heart which beat through three prepositions at the end of a sentence had been stopped by four The book first published in 1970 I love the back cover blurb Women s Lib Gone Wild and the author John Boyd dedicates the book to the Greek dramatist Aristophanes and the American comicsatarist Lenny Bruce an interesting choice Aristophanes of course wrote the play Lysistrata in which the women of ancient Athens and the rest of Greece withheld sex from the men until they stopped the Peloponnesian WarHowever in Boyd s book the women want to do away with men entirely As the back page says It spelled war between the sexes I found the book disjointed in parts At times is was down right confusing There was a host of characters coming in and out of the book While I enjoyed the different personalities and their individual uirks I never really seemed to get to know them The ending of the book seemed rushed like Boyd had a deadline to meet One thing piled on another and another Again their were parts of the book that were interesting but on the whole it was a disappointment it could have been so much betterBUT the last page I did like Practically an historical artifact to me Sex and the High Command was educational even though it was not entertaining It reminded me that there s a sharp difference between books set in the Cold War written during the Cold War and books set in the Cold War written after the fact Reading it while discussing The Left Hand of Darkness in English class I was struck by the similarities in the two novels both are about gender issues and both are a product of the 1960s But that s where the similarity ends Sex and the High Command definitely reads like the sort of pulp sci fi novel that made it difficult for the mainstream audience to take science fiction seriously the sort of novel against which Ursula K Le Guin was campaigning both thematically and structurally when she came out with The Left Hand of Darkness Now I haven t read much pulp sci fi That was part of the reason I elected to read this awful book I also saw it featured in an io9 triviagasm about parthenogenesis and decided to check it out I m aware there s probably much better pulp sci fi stressing that better is an incredibly relative term The description is very sparse so I ll deviate from my normal reviewer schema and give a brief plot summary It s contemporary 1970s America Captain Ben Hansen of the United States Navy is ust returning home from an eighteen month tour of duty off Antarctica While he s been away a scientist by the name of Dr Henrietta Carey has perfected an orgasm inducing parthe. WOMEN'S LIB GONE WILDDr Henrietta Carey leader of the Fems was the first woma.
Librarian Note There is than one author in the Goodreads database with this nameJohn Boyd was the primary pen name of Boyd Bradfield Upchurch an American science fiction author