Mick Farren: The Quest of the DNA Cowboys, Synaptic Manhunt

Farren’s “DNA Cowboys” trilogy had been on my to-read list for a long time, and I finally decided to give it a go. It’s a simultaneous homage to and send up of Burroughs-style “planetary romance,” raunchier, more overtly parodic, and much less structured than Philip José Farmer’s “World of Tiers” novels, but not entirely dissimilar. Despite some features I appreciated — notably the setting, a world of chaotic nothingness, sparsely populated by none-too-stable outcroppings of “reality” — it wasn’t to my taste, and I decided reading two of the novels was plenty for me. Farren clearly works hard to be transgressive, and the juxtaposition of the apparent physical age and sexuality of some of his characters is still creepy. The abundant salty language, while somewhat unusual in the science fiction of the mid 70s, isn’t as eyebrow-raising now. And I while I give Farren credit for trying to portray a society free of racial and sexual orientation prejudice, the sexuality depicted in the novels is still very male-centric.

Published by therealsummervillain

likes: equality, making things easier to use, biking, jangle, distortion, monogamy dislikes: bigotry, policies that jeopardize people, lack of transparency

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