The Carhullan Army by Sarah Hall (2007)

The Carhullan Army cover
Arthur C Clarke Award-shortlisted and James Tiptree Jr Award-winning, the force of this entry into the discourse of feminist utopia/dystopia (published as Daughters of the North in the US) is widely acknowledged, as in Victoria Hoyle’s review:

Either way, Hall understands that this dilemma is not an abstraction; it is the central difficulty of Sister’s existence and lies at the very heart of life at Carhullan. In the process of exploring it she makes and destroys and remakes Sister over and over again. Like us all, she is a malleable creature, eager to be inspired, happy to be galvanized to action, begging for a role to play in the world. The novel is an incredibly tender and multi-faceted portrait of her troubled journey, concerned almost entirely with the mechanics of her reasoning and her understanding of her cause. This is why, no doubt, Hall omits to describe the novel’s main scenes of violence and conquest—Sister’s narrative tapes are “corrupted” at all these critical junctures—but instead focuses on the tension of the long road to a short and bloody aftermath.

Please email me with your top ten science fiction novels by women from the last ten years (2001-2010). All votes must be received by 23.59 on Sunday 5 December. Your own definition of science fiction applies.

6 Responses to “The Carhullan Army by Sarah Hall (2007)”

  1. Adam Roberts Says:

    Thursday 9th Sept, Sarah Hall is on Radio 4 Bookclub talking (very interestingly) about this novel. If you’re in the UK you can catch this on the BBC iPlayer until the 16th.

  2. Jessica Says:

    With that c*** Jim Naughtie?

  3. Adam Roberts Says:

    ‘Chap’?

    Here’s the actual link to the Sarah Hall show. You can listen and make up your own mind about Naughtie.

  4. Jessica Says:

    For those of you who are not devotees of the Today programme, this will explain my outburst:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/06/james-naughtie-today-jeremy-hunt

  5. Bookclub: “The Carhullan Army” « @Number 71 Says:

    […] Bookclub programme this afternoon, discussing her novel The Carhullan Army. I rather agree with Niall over at Torque Control on the matter of that novel’s quality, although I’m not so sure that the readers asking […]

  6. Future Classics: #1 « Torque Control Says:

    […] Recent Comments Future Classics: #2 … on LightbornPeter Hollo on HeliotropePeter Hollo on Future Classics: #3Leevan Banzuelo on LightbornEvan on LightbornGary Couzens on Four Stories by Nina Alla…Nick Hubble on Future Classics: #3A discussion about L… on LightbornMatt Denault on LightbornBookclub: “The… on The Carhullan Army by Sarah Ha… […]


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