Parables of the Present

Started Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower (1993) 📚 this morning.

Right away, I think: What do people think they will gain when society collapses? There’s much wrong with society now, but what do they think they will gain?

This book was written in 1993. In recent memory then, all of the ’70s and ’80s. Stagflation. New York Fear City. Carter. Reagan. Rodney King beaten by the LAPD. The Bloods and the Crips. Punk. Corporate raiders. The drug war. Gangsta rap. Grunge. Industrial. Falling Down (1993). Despair. I’m only on page 10. Science fiction is about the present, not the future.

And I suppose the answer to my earlier question is there: despair. We can’t kill the people at fault or those that profit from failure. We can’t even find them. They’re systems, not people. Society is collapsing all around us. Perhaps if we called the wealthy and powerful by titles of nobility we could see our situation better.

“Is that the way it’s going to be, I wonder? Is that the future: Large numbers of people stuck in either President-elect Donner’s version of slavery or Richard Moss’s.” (p. 37)

Sunday–a third of the way through Parable of the Talents (1998) 📚. Parable of the Sower ended on a hopeful note after all that pain. This one, this one is foreshadowing disaster. Sower started in 2023, but the collapse began earlier. Now it’s 2033, and America will be great again. Even so, it seems everyone turned to animals so quickly maybe they always were and I was just sheltered.

The snow on the trees outside is real.