Don’t Bite the Sun by Tanith Lee – Dystopian Books Review

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Review, Synopsis, and Summary of Science Fiction Novel Don’t Bite the Sun

Tanith Lee is an author of science fiction and fantasy; she published 90 novels and more than 300 short stories. Biting the Sun presents an omnibus which includes two science fiction dystopian novels, Don’t Bite the Sun and Drinking Sapphire Wine, both published in the 1970s.

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Author: Tanith Lee

Genre: Science fiction

Page count: 160

Good reads rating: 4.1 of 5

My Ratings: 8.2 of 10

Published: 1970

Publisher: DAW books

Language: English

For The Latest Price: Don’t Bite the Sun

Review and Summary of The Science Fiction Novel Don’t Bite the Sun

***Warning Spoilers Below This Point***

Don't Bite the Sun

The novel sets in the barren, remote desert where one can spot ruins of ancient inhabitance. The human population dwells largely in three main cities named as Four-BEE, Four-BOO, and Four-BAA. Outside these cities, there is no inhabitation also it allows no human to leave the city for the fear of volcanic eruptions, plague, sandstorms and an appalling monster that lives outside. Humanoid robots have taken over the city and they also run the government. 

They disburden humans of all the tasks, responsibilities and duties; they do not have any jobs as robots manage everything. As no law, religion or morality applies to them, humans have become hedonists and sensualists. In a novel, there are three sorts of people, The Jang or youth, the post-Jang state or Old people and Quasi-robots. The Jangs involve themselves in all kinds of immoral activities e.g. doing drugs and lechery.

They can steal or damage public property and vandalise the city for robots that can quickly repair the damage. Humans can even change their genders and change physical appearances as they desire. They travel with the help of bird-plains and teleportation, which they call Body Displacer. Picture Vision is a series of endless flashes and images which display publically erotic animated and non-animated shows. Animals are also robots that kept at home as pets and taken care of.

Jangs are taught through Hypno-schools where they become educated in complex mathematics. Technological advancements have subdued death, and immortality in the city now prevails. Jangs commit suicides, but they immediately resurrect them in a different body. They create artificial dreams thus they have lost all their values and feelings. Robots have taken over all affairs of life and humans have nothing to do, neither they can spend meaningful life nor they can die in peace.

The first scene in the book opens with the unknown narrator going to her friend’s home who committed suicide for the fortieth time. The story is told by a narrator whose identity remains disclosed till the end. The narrator indulges herself in all kinds of indecent and perverted activities, but she realises that nothing makes her happy anymore. She does something productive to make herself feel better, but in a city, there is no job left for human beings. 

She then makes her mind to conceive a child but cannot find a suitable partner. This leads her to conceive a child with the help of her own male body, which results in the child’s death. It leaves the narrator devastated, so she finally leaves the city with her pet and venture to the outer forbidden world. She realises the real value and beauty of life outside the utopian cities. It helps her heal emotionally and spiritually, but then her pet dies in an accident. She returns to the city heavy heartedly and accepts that she can never fulfil the void of her existence.   

Final Say on the Science Fiction Novel Don’t Bite the Sun

Tanith Lee published the unique science fiction novel with a most interesting narrative. Don’t Bite the Sun, receives my ratings of 8.2 out of 10 because of its distinctive and complex storyline. Would I re-read this novel? No. Am I glad I read it? Yes.

For The Latest Price: Don’t Bite the Sun

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Max Atlas
Max Atlas
I am Max Atlas; my only mission is to raise awareness of Dystopian fiction and share in a collective awakening. Together we will explore not only the best Dystopian Novels ever written but also new and upcoming Authors, giving future greats a platform to share their Dystopian Worlds.