i never really saw myself as much of a sci fi kind of gal. okay, i straight up hated it. but then i got really into LOST. and then i started to really enjoy dystopian fantasy books like the hunger games and his dark materials trilogies. and then i thought MAYBE I LIKE THIS KIND OF THING AFTER ALL.
then i read m.t. anderson’s feed. and i realized that nope. i was right in the first place– sci fi totes gross to me. however, i will award this book two (possibly three) points for a 110% kick@$$ first line:
“we went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.”
and with that, i bring you feed.
Feed, By M.T. Anderson
In M.T. Anderson’s Feed, teenaged Titus and his friends, like 73% of Americans, have microchips implanted into their brains that tell them everything they need to know: what to buy, what to watch, and where to go. When Titus and friends take a (sucky) trip to the moon, two game-changers occur: they meet a young girl named Violet and their feeds are hacked and damaged. After they travel back to Earth and begin a relationship, Titus realizes just how different Violet is, as she actually tries to fight the feed.
Written in an invented slang that calls to mind Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, Anderson’s satiristic Feed is a perplexing and depressing outlook on the consequences of technology. Anderson’s characters are both flat and confusing: I couldn’t figure out what made self-absorbed Titus appeal to the educated and aware Violet, and I found Violet’s concerns to be overwrought and unbelievable at times. The plot also seemed to stall for me, especially as the unlikely relationship developed between Titus and Violet. However, as Farah Mendlesohn points out, “emotional relationships … are irrelevant [in science fiction]… the issues lie with the physics rather than with people.” In its vivid answer to the “what if” question, perhaps Feed proves that it is an authentic piece of science fiction that doesn’t need to focus on the pieces of the story that I have been been trained to appreciate. But that doesn’t mean that I have to like it.