Stupid Perfect World by Scott Westerfeld
Welcome to Saturday Shorts where we feature short stories and novells. This story gets a shiny five because I love anything Westerfeld does. Everything he writes is unique and beautifully written.
Publisher’s Description: In this future-set novella by bestselling author Scott Westerfeld, Kieran Black lives in a “perfect” world. Disease and starvation have been eradicated, sleep is unnecessary, and it takes no time at all to go from the Bahamas to the moon. But now Kieran has to take Scarcity, a class about how people lived in the bad old days. And as if sitting through an hour of Scarcity every day wasn’t depressing enough, it’s final projects time. Each student must choose some form of ancient hardship to experience for two whole weeks. Kieran chooses having to sleep eight hours a night, which doesn’t seem too annoying.
Maria Borsotti has never thought much of Kieran, but she decides to take pity on him and help him out with his project. Soon, Kieran is sleeping and having vivid dreams, while Maria, whose Scarcity project is to give up all teenage hormone regulation, is experiencing emotions she never knew she had. As their assignments draw them closer together, they begin to wonder if the olden days weren’t so bad. Maybe something has been missing from their perfect lives after all?
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Kat Mandu says…
Oh my god. This. THISSSSSS.
I wish Scott Westerfeld would have done more with this – made it a whole book or even a series. The concept is fabulous and I would have liked to spend more time getting to know Kieran and Maria and to indulge in the world he created. A world without feelings? Where technology is so updated that we don’t even have to sleep? Where we can teleport? I love imagined worlds like this.
Kieran is adorable to read and Maria is a character I can relate to well. I love the teasing between them and how it grows into something stronger. I love the concept of the world they live in and how futurized it is. Nice, short read that really grabs the attention and draws you in.
If you like this book…