April 03, 2003

Feed by M. T. Anderson

I picked up Anderson's Feed at the recommendation of my friendly local young-adult librarian (Hi Mike!) It's told from the point of view of a teenaged boy named Titus growing up in a future USA (though the book opens with an extremely Heinleinian spring-break trip to the moon.) It's one of those SF books that takes a current societal trend and postulates that the trend continues unabated for a long long time, then uses the resulting dystopia to make comments about the current state of the real world. The trend to which Anderson is applying this recipe is that of ubiquitous product marketing. The "feed" of the title is a direct connection to the future information service that looks an awful lot like the AOL portal. You can get information and entertainment over your feed and you can do work over your feed, but mostly what comes over is advertising specially tailored to your personal consuming habits.

Now I'm no disciple of the Capitalist religion, but I had a hard time wading through all the message to get to a story that's really pretty thin. Titus meets Violet, a girl who got her feed late. Soon after he meets her she finds out that her feed is starting to malfunction and will eventually kill her. (the malfunctions are brought on by an incident on the moon where a member of a dissident organization hacks their feeds, but this potential subplot never goes anywhere.) To his credit, there's no tidy solution to the problems of his world inside the bounds of the book, but the world is so implausible to me that I had a hard time even finishing the book to determine that. Better to go re-read Janet Tashjian's The Gospel According To Larry for some of the same message without so much hyperbole.

Posted by jeffy at April 3, 2003 09:07 PM

This is not about Feed it is about Thirsty. The book Thirsty was awsome, it should be made into a movie. The only thing that was wrong was the ending, you don't find out what happes to Christopher. It has been buging me since I finished the book. So you should continue it on into a series. The next book-books should be about him puuling his life back together. Rebeka should use her knolage of spells, and Chris should kill Tom. VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE EXSEDRA SEND THIS TO M.T.ANDERSON

Posted by: Davis at March 14, 2004 05:53 PM

You may be surprised to discover that this site doesn't have any connection to Mr. Anderson other than the fact that I reviewed one of his books.

If you want to contact an author here's what you do:

  1. Search the internet for the author's own web page. If you don't find one then they probably don't have one and you should go on to step 2. If you find their web page, they may offer a way for you to contact them. If they do, use it. If they do not, they might be sending you the not too subtle hint that they are unable to accept contacts from their readers. This may be frustrating to you, but you must remember that it takes time to read and answer mail from readers, and any time an author spends answering your mail is time they don't spend writing more books for you to read. Try to respect their wishes.

  2. If you simply must contact that author, there is an almost sure-fire way of getting a message to them. Write them a letter in care of their publisher. Look in your book to see who published it. There may be an address right there on the copyright page. Otherwise you should be able to find the publisher's address on their web page.

  3. Write a letter on actual paper, put it in an envelope, attach postage, and mail it to:

    My Favorite Author
    c/o Their Publisher
    Their Publisher's Address
    NY, NY 12345

    If you expect a response, include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your letter.

    The publisher will forward your letter to the author unless the author has explicitly requested otherwise.

    Chances are, you will not get a response, even if you include the SASE. See the note in #1 above for why you shouldn't take this personally.

    It may be frustrating, but if you put yourself in the author's shoes you will see the sense of it.

Good luck!

Posted by: jeffy at March 15, 2004 02:47 PM