The Child Garden- Geoff Ryman

Last night I poorly explained some of the plot of the Child Garden. I kept remembering detail after I’d moved the plot on and it came out all wrong and a bit episodic.

In a future world where the cure for cancer had the unfortunate side-effect of increasing the speed of ageing rapidly, children must become adults within a few years after birth. Genetically engineered viruses that transfer knowledge are used to cut childhood as short as possible. But Milena Shibush turns out to be immune. Learning things the hard way, she’s also not bound by the social conformity spread by the omnipresent viruses. When Milena meets the outsider master-singer Rolfa, she falls in love with the strange, genetically engineered creature. Since homosexuality is regarded as “bad grammar” and therefore something to be cured by virus, Milena keeps her affection a secret — even from Rolfa. However, as she’s found out, it turns out that Milena’s unique immunity to most viruses may be just the thing the ruling “Consensus” has been looking for to make another step in its evolution…

Geoff Ryman has written some of my favourite books I’ve read in the last few years. 253, Was, Lust, Air.

Not only that Geoff helped lead the UK government onto the web, starting a web design team at the Central Office of Information in 1994. He also led the teams that designed the first official British Monarchy and 10 Downing Street websites, and until recently worked on the UK government’s flagship website www.direct.gov.uk.

Maybe I should invite him next year to Greenbelt.

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