The Core of the SunBook - 2016
The Eusistocratic Republic of Finland has bred a new human sub-species of receptive, submissive women, called eloi , for sex and procreation, while intelligent, independent women are relegated to menial labor and sterilized so that they do not carry on their "defective" line. Vanna, raised as an eloi but secretly intelligent, needs money to help her doll-like sister, who has disappeared. Vanna forms a friendship with a man named Jare, and they become involved in buying and selling a stimulant known to the Health Authority to be extremely dangerous: chili peppers. Then Jare comes across a strange religious cult in possession of the Core of the Sun, a chili so hot that it is rumored to cause hallucinations. Does this chili have effects that justify its prohibition? How did Finland turn into the North Korea of Europe? And will Vanna succeed in her quest to find her sister, or will her growing need to satisfy her chili addiction destroy her?
Johanna Sinisalo's tautly told story of fight and flight is also a feisty, between-the-lines social polemic--a witty, inventive, and fiendishly engaging read.
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The protagonist Vera is quite clever and intelligent, a trait the futuristic Finnish government considers a flaw in women. Having successfully masqueraded as an airhead eloi for all her life, she struggles with a chili pepper addiction as she searches for her younger sister.
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“Teach me, chile, and I shall Learn. Take me, chile, and I shall Escape. Focus my eyes, chile, and I shall See. Consume more chiles. I feel no pain, for the chile is my teacher. I feel no pain, for the chile takes me beyond myself. I feel no pain, for the chile gives me sight. —Transcendental Capsaicinophilic Society, 'Litany Against Pain'”
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