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Arts > From A to Zee

04 February 2016 | by D.J. Taylor

From A to Zee

 
As modish a radio feature as you will encounter all this year, Herland (28 January) took its title from the ­century-old utopian novel by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Here three travellers crash-land on to a remote territory to find a population that is entirely female, concentrating on such elemental pursuits as child rearing and reproducing by way of parthenogenesis.While keen to use Gilman’s novel as a launch pad for his enquiry into science fiction and gender, our master of ceremonies, the novelist Geoff Ryman, was clearly slightly puzzled by it, or at any rate troubled by its apparent disregard for contemporary “issues”. Certainly, there was talk of its “unmodernised” premise (the women concentrate on raising their families) and some head-shaking about




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