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Immunity Index


A cityscape with a dome over it is mirrored by the large spiky halo of a coronavirus
Immunity Index, by Sue Burke

Sue Burke has been on my list of authors to watch ever since I read Semiosis, which I love and recommend to people all the time. I hesitated to read Immunity Index because it's 2023 and the virus on the cover looks a lot like the corona virus you see on public health posters. I wasn't sure I was up to reading a pandemic book--I was afraid that either it would be too unrealistic and I'd be unable to do anything but scoff disappointedly, or that it would be too realistic and I'd get sullen and depressed at the depiction of quarantine, and at the irrationality of people's resistance to public health safety measures.


I had a stretch, though, of consuming pandemic stories. I watched Contagion, I read Immunity Index. Contagion is a strictly accurate worst case scenario; Immunity Index is more hopeful. Yes, there are incompetent and evil politicians who are scheming for power, and capitalism grinds us down, and there seems little hope for escape from the onrushing train of the end of the anthropocene, but hey, at least there's a wooly mammoth with a mind of his own.

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