He, She and It by Marge PiercySummary: In the middle of the twenty-first century, life as we know it has changed for all time. There, she is welcomed by Malkah, the brilliant grandmother who raised her, and meets an extraordinary man who is not a man at all, but a unique cyborg implanted with intelligence, emotions—and the ability to kill…. Review: I picked this up because of how incredibly moved I was by Woman on the Edge of Time review by the same author. I imagine it would probably move a reader more if they are Jewish or a mother. The book is richly steeped in Jewish culture and history.
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Novel: He, She and It by Marge Piercy
Winner of the Arthur C. The time is the middle of the twenty-first century. It is in this world that Shira Shipman struggles to find her place. Now, as the novel opens, she is returning to Tikva, the Jewish free town where she was raised. If the cyborg is man-built, it is woman-programmed, and that woman has been a lifelong rebel and sexual iconoclast.
The year is After the Two Week War of which nearly destroyed human civilization as we know it, the world is now run by twenty-seven enterprises — commonly referred to as the multis — which have formed their own social hierarchies and standards of living. Despite the huge gap between the rich and the poor, technology has never been more advanced. People in this new world communicate by plugging themselves into machines and projecting themselves into Cyberspace. This is the world of He, She, and It. In this cyberpunk novel by Marge Piercy, the story starts with artificial intelligence expert Shira, who lives in one of these multis, Yakamura-Stichen Y-S , losing custody of her son Ari to her ex-husband in an emotional custody battle. Afterwards, she decides to live the heavily controlled confines of Y-S in order to return to her hometown of Tikva which means hope in Hebrew.
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He, She and It is my first experience with the work of Marge Piercy. I had something of a mixed reaction to its science fictional content, but on the whole I found it a strong, thought-provoking novel. The federal government has vanished, global warming and pollution have decimated the environment, vast segments of the population live in a lawless urban sprawl, and huge multinational corporations vie for power and control. The narrative kicks off when Shira Shipman, a technician specializing in human-machine interfaces for one of the largest multinationals, loses custody of her son in a divorce and finds herself cut adrift from an ill-considered path in life. She returns to the community of her youth, Tikva, a Jewish free town that has managed to maintain its independence by selling superior computer security to various multis. There, Shira goes to work for a scientist, Avram Stein, helping with the development of a cyborg, Yod, with whom she develops a complicated relationship.
Despite a contrived subject—the parallel adjustment problems of a 21st-century cyborg and a 17th-century golem—the latest from Piercy Summer People, ; Gone to Soldiers, boils down to a In the 21st century the world has been ravaged by environmental He, She and It : A Novel. Marge Piercy. Rich, complex, impossible to put down.