So i’ve been reading By Light Alone by Adam Roberts, it’s a SCI-FI novel set in a bio-engineered age where the majority of people live off photosynthesising through their hair, and the only people who eat are the rich.
I’m about halfway through and i’m really enjoying it. For something that sounds cooky and mad the story itself deals with every day realty, which allows the reader to be drawn into a world where things aren’t quite natural. Starting off with a sky-trip gone awry when the protagonists daughter is kidnapped, the story runs to some dark corners.
like all good stories Adam uses the SCI-FI genre to draw in unsuspecting readers into a reality we seem to be becoming more and more aware of. The central theme of the story is greed, where the power of photosynthesis has been used to create a societal barrier between those who are rich, and those that don’t need to be payed any more because they can feed of the suns ray.
The story deals with the philosophy of the human condition, and brings up some serious points about the advancement of technology in a society which seems intent on bettering only a few. Adam shows that we need to balance the advancement of technology and science with the advancement of society or we risk the technology being used against some of us.
It’s funny and has that deprecating english humour that puts you on edge while feeling secretly glad that it’s not happening to you. The plot manages to follow the macro development and ideas of Adam’s world, while intriguing us with the personal story and focus of the main character. Adam’s insight into a technological age driven by the female workforce is ahead of its time, and I recommend this story to anyone who likes to accidentally learn something while they curl up with a book.