A Provocative Question: Reviewing Peco Gaskovski’s Sci-Fi Thriller, ‘Exogenesis’
Fascinating. At first I expected the title quote to refer to moral behavior, as in we change how we behave based on who is around. I imagine that’s not wholly incorrect, but the fuller quote gives a different perspective more about identity. We are shaped by those who see us, know us, and care about us. And if there is no one in that category... Much to ponder there, it seems.
Sounds interesting, I will certainly add it to my to-read list!
Thanks very much Joel, for this wonderful review. As the author I couldn’t have summed it up better.
It’s worth reiterating Ruth’s point, in one of the other comments here, that the novel is also appropriate for teen readers.
I love the quote you chose for your title. Often we worry about the Big Brother aspect of tech, i.e., how it might be used to control us politically or socially, which is of course a risk. But less often do we think about how the mere fact of being observed, whether by AI or some other set of “Eyes”, distorts our perception of ourselves.
This sounds a lot like the premise of Gattaca.
The law of observation ❤️
Joel, thanks so much for this review! You provide a succinct and compelling distillate of the story, and a thoughtful focus question. Being intimately familiar with the novel (as the first reader of the initial manuscript), it is utterly gratifying to read such a thoughtful review of Exogenesis, and I hope that it will encourage readers to give this new release a try. For those concerned about the direction of society in our current Machine age, Exogenesis will certainly strike a chord. At the core, the novel lays bare the choice that we face in a divided world. In the words of Wendell Berry:
“It is easy for me to imagine that the next great division of the world will be between people who wish to live as creatures and people who wish to live as machines.”
Finally, I would add the book is also appropriate for teenage readers, and can serve as an excellent starting point for discussion on technology, family, state control, procreation, and faith. For readers interested in the background story to the novel see, Exogenesis: Blade Runner Meets the Benedict Option https://schooloftheunconformed.substack.com/p/exogenesis-bladerunner-meets-the