Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Speculative queer-y

Riding home today I started thinking about a speculative fiction short story I read years and years ago and I've never seen since. I would dearly love to read the story again, and so I'm hoping that if I mention it someone might be able to tell me if they know it. So, here is as much as I know:

-- I can't remember if I read it in an anthology of short stories or the original volume, or if I was reading it from the actual book or from photocopied pages. I did a huge essay during my Masters in English on women's speculative fiction, so I'm assuming (although I could be wrong) that it was written by a woman.

-- My course was between 1990 and 1993, so I'm guessing it was written in the 80s or earlier.

-- It is all about rich people in the future pushing cosmetic surgery to the point of perfection and then finding that really boring, so then a trend started of finding really ugly people and transplanting the rich person's personality into the ugly body. They would change appearances every 'season' and try to outdo each other's ugliness. There's a lot more to it than that, as usual, but that's the part that really sticks in my head.

Does that jog any memories? Also very happy for suggestions on dystopian fiction to read, published in the last ten years or so, preferably human/soft/personality-based, not hard-techno.


angelique said...

I suggest anything by Michael Marshall Smith.

Some of the books are a bit technology-heavy, but in a good way. He messes with your head in very interesting ways.

Ampersand Duck said...

excellent! I'm in a reading hiatus at the moment, so that's a good place to start. Thanks!

Naomi said...

Peter Carey does a short story on a machine called a shape shifter(?) that changes folk's appearances and identities in The Fat Man in History (probably). The character falls in love with a woman who just cannot resist one more change. It's tops.

Did BB tell you he rang up the other day because he knew I was lonesome? so nice!

Ampersand Duck said...

Yes, but he hadn't mentioned that he knew you were lonely to me until he mentioned the phone call! Hope you're doing ok. You did a good job with LP...

Naomi said...

that's typical communication inability on behalf of the B family! DB can completely forget to tell me important details like people's pregnancies and suchlike. I think it's a reaction to the female Beloveds being so impeccably diligent with thank you cards and other forms of correspondence.

I am doing OK. The side effect of being alone in the house is I spend WAY too much time blogging.

Ampersand Duck said...

Hey, no harm in that! Enjoy!