Summary The Courier's New Bicycle 107

Kim Westwood ¹ 7 Summary

Summary The Courier's New Bicycle 107 Ø ❆ [KINDLE] ✿ The Courier's New Bicycle By Kim Westwood ➟ – Horticulturetrader.co.uk A beautifully written story of the near future and its murky underworld A beautifully written story of the near future and its murky underworld.A beautifully written s. Thoroughly enjoyed this oneIn the near future the vaccination for a type of bird flu has gone wrong and most people are now infertile The Government is now lead by an ultra right wing religious party which has banned any type of fertility drugs for being unnatural They have also implemented many other draconian laws This has lead to an underground world of chemists and gangs dealing with all things now illegalSet in inner Melbourne the centre of the city has become an underground slum of bordellos illegal bars and drug sellersNarrated by Salisbury who is a late 20s transgender bike courier working for one of the main fertility drug sellers Salisbury has a small group of liberally thinking friends who have to be careful to protect their activities from the roving patrols of vigilantes and religious prayer groupsThere's a lot of subtle digs at political parties and religious groups It highlights the cruelty to animals for drugs testing or production of drugs the power of women and the strength of transgender people

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Tory of the near future. This review forms part of my contribution to the Australian Women Writers 2012 Reading ChallengeThe Courier's New Bicycle by Kim Westwood was a very interesting read It is set in Melbourne Australia in a near future where the Australian population has become almost entirely sterile as an unintended conseuence of a hastily rolled out mass vaccination program for a new strain of avian flu A new ultra nationalistultra conservativeultra religious party called Nation First has used the crisis to get into power and immediately denounced scientific infertility solutions as being the work of insert bad supernatural entity of choice here with clean living and godliness being the only way to fertilityThe heightened awareness of fertility has led to an even stronger set of prejudices around gender identity The protagonist Salisbury Forth Sal identifies as androgynous not the easiest path in this milieu Sal works as a bicycle courier for an illegal fertility treatment distributor and is an animal rights activist When someone starts distributing inferior knockoffs of the treatments under Sal's employers brand mystery ensuesI recently read and enjoyed Ms Westwood's contribution to the Anywhere But Earth anthology so I've been looking forward to reading this bookThe heightened gender politics in the novel were very confronting While obviously exaggerated in this darker world you can see the origins of the attitudes represented in today's society I've always struggled to understand why people care so much how someone choses to live their lives when it is not harming anyone else but if you have a relatively liberal circle of friends it is easy to forget how much prejudice still exists in broader society I think Australians in particular will resonate with the future painted because you can certainly identify those aspects of contemporary Australian political life that are being built upon to create the world of The Courier's New BicycleCounterbalancing this dark setting is a beautifully rendered series of relationships that show the importance of the family you choose to form around you in life as opposed to the one you are born into The examination of self in this context was very powerful and one of the stronger elements of the bookThat's all a bit metaphysical though so lets focus on the story for a moment Sal as reluctant detective investigates an acceptably interesting mystery and there is a good balance of action with mystery solving Care is taken to ensure that all red herrings are explained Sometimes the explanations felt a little forced but you certainly weren't left wondering about any loose ends All of the sometimes disparate elements of the story come together at the endThe sense of place was also very strong in this book My wife is from Melbourne originally and as a result I've spent time there in the last 10 years I loved the description of the dystopian city and the images created of settings I know especially some of the fancier parts of the southern parts of Melbourne that have fallen on hard times For those not familiar with Melbourne it will obviously have less impact but for those that are it is a fantastic contributor to the reading experienceThe character of Sal was very sympathetic and the story was certainly arranged such that future novels could be set in the same world If any ever are I'll be lining up to get my copyI also reviewed this book my website

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The Courier's New BicycleAnd its murky underwor. I’d heard a lot about this book and how much people had enjoyed it but not specifically what it was about so I headed into the story of Salisbury Forth without a lot of background knowledge I found myself in a post pandemic Melbourne where a side effect of a vaccine – sterility – has led to an uprising of the overly and outwardly pious who have banned artificial hormones and labelled those who don’t fit into neat little packages as ‘transgressors’ Adding in rolling power outages and power rationing and a thriving hormone black market – and those who’d like to destroy it for their own means – and we’re in a world balancing between the familiar and nightmarishI was particularly struck by the world building in this book There’s a lot going on with the story touching on animal rights government control over medications government surveillance how different subcultures behave under different circumstances and an old fashioned mystery to solve but most of the time those elements are balanced well and the pieces fit together nicelyI was thinking that this is a story which works better if you have some knowledge of Melbourne because it relies on the Melbourne we know today to work it’s definitely not a story which would work in a Brisbane setting I read it while I was in Melbourne so I don’t know how much that influenced my reading of the story – especially as someone holidaying there rather than living there After a couple of brief discussions at Continuum I’ve been having a lot of thoughts about how known places work in fiction so this was book definitely fed and continued those thoughtsAs well as place thoughts I have thoughts about the medical aspects of the story The entire story balanced on the vaccine which made people sterile Most of our vaccination schedule in Australia happens in a child’s first 18 months so as a parents of a young child I hear a lot about vaccinations And inevitably you hear from anti vaccine people or people who are ‘concerned’ about vaccines and want to spread that fear to other parents – usually mothers So to have a government sponsored vaccine as the catalyst for the story left me with some heavy moments of ‘hmmm’ and wondering whether to let that impact my enjoyment of the story Ultimately I decided to file it in a ‘I don’t like that choice but it doesn’t impact the overall story’ pile but I am still thinking on itA world where artificial hormones are only available through secretive illegal means downright terrified me though I admit to a complicated history with artificial hormones since they helped me get my son but they also threatened my life at the same time I was under the supervision of a highly trained and experienced doctor who had to see me 2 3 times a week to ensure that I was safe I’m one of those people who just overreacts to artificial hormones so I can’t imagine absolutely needing them as many people do for many reasons but not having that constant care to ensure they’re as safe as possible Though I imagine there’s a lot of people around the world who are put in this situation for financialorganisationalsystemic reasons More things to think onDespite all the deep thinking thoughts the book inspired it didn’t read to me like a ‘thinking book’ It was a fast moving adventure of a story with a pretty large cast of characters who thankfully were well defined and differentiated from each other It provided one look at a possible future while inviting us to look at where we are and what we’re doing at the present time I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m glad I was able to get my hands on itOriginally reviewed at Subversive Reader