Hanging Sheep-stealers, a novel
In this book of stories – with a subtitle: a novel – the author is playing with the science fiction genre, but hanging sheep-stealers is not a genre literature in the narrower sense of the term. Each of twenty texts of the book has a different narrative structure and is related to some problem of contemporary world, pushing chosen topics to possible or impossible extremes. So the obsession with eternal youth leads to the production of GMO people with a gene of snake, who change their skin every year but lose part of their memories in the process; the sudden loss of rare earth elements causes a major technological drawback; a solution for the recycling of plastic waste is achieved by the creation of copyrighted plastic-eating mutants; the idea of general participation in political power (“five minutes of power to everybody”) manifests itself as a travelling parliament-carousel with eight politically correct entrances; in the defrosted Arctic there is a war going on for the resources made attainable by the global warming etc.
All the stories are connected by the environment, a single imaginary world of not-too-distant future, but each has its separate setting and characters, with their interests, perceptions and – what is especially important – voices. The stories are often told through monologues and dialogues, from a somewhat distorted subjective perspective that constantly leaves open possibilities of another interpretation of things.