On a planet where men are contained in ghettoised isolation, women enjoy the fruits of a queer matriarchal utopia — until a boy escapes and a young woman’s perception of the world is violently interupted. Two old friends enjoy cocktails on a holiday resort planet where all is not as it seems. A bickering couple emigrate to a world that has worked out an innovative way to side-step the need for war, only to bring their quarrels (and something far more destructive) with them.
And in the title story, Suzuki offers readers a tragic and warped mirroring of her own final days as the tyranny of enforced screen-time and the mechanistion of labour bring about a shattering psychic collapse.
At turns nonchalantly hip and charmingly deranged, Suzuki’s singular slant on speculative fiction would be echoed in countless later works, from Margaret Atwood and Harumi Murakami, to Black Mirror and Ex Machina. In these darkly playful and punky stories, the fantastical elements are always earthed by the universal pettiness of strife between the sexes, and the gritty reality of life on the lower rungs, whatever planet that ladder might be on.