Hold on to your panties because this shit just got weird. Richard Godwin’s Android Love, Human Skin could be considered a pornographic sci-fi dystopian thriller or maybe a sci-fi dystopian thriller porno, but whatever it is, man, it is some different.
The first few chapters come at you in staccato fashion, almost like a TV channel changing with so much information being broadcast to the reader, you let it flow over you like water or come. (I mentioned this book is somewhat pornographic. It ain’t for the prudish.)
Nutrient skins. The breakthrough. The government’s way out. They manufactured films with different nutritional properties inside. Men and women sustained by skins. Men and women with bodies. With bodies that had skins. Intact skins. Beautiful world. From epidermis to hypodermis, all the way down to bone and muscle, they were human again.
The government or the union, as it is called, provides androids to the population for sexual pleasure. There’s much to discuss about these sex machines, four different models for different human proclivities, but there are two things to know about the androids: the union cannot recreate human skin and the androids are really good at the sex.
Godwin moves the story along even when the reader is swimming in come and pussy juice. (I mentioned that this book is pornographic?) We are introduced to several couples and their associated androids and then the sex begins. Sex tastes like “strawberries and ice cream” or “whisky and steak” or “cream and trout” and so on and so on. As with any dystopian novel, things don’t go as planned for those in charge and that’s where Godwin’s gets Android Love, Human Skin interesting.
Now I know I’ve focused a bit on the sex part but I’m doing that almost as a government warning on a pack of cigarettes, you need to know what you’re getting into. Beyond the sex, Godwin is asking other questions such as: What are the limits of passion? How far will a totalitarian state go in controlling its population? What are the dangers of artificial intelligence? Godwin doesn’t give us many answers, but dystopian novels rarely do. Their purpose is to question and to make the reader think, and with that Godwin is successful. Android Love, Human Skin isn’t a book for everyone, but if you are looking for something bizarre, something that pushes against contemporary sensibilities, then pick this up.
This review is part of a blog tour, the first I ever participated it. For other reviews of Richard Godwin’s Android Love, Human Skin, this graphic below will point you to other blogs that have participated in the blog tour. There’s a giveaway for a free ebook, if you are so inclined.