Tuesday, May 15, 2012

'The Speed of Dark' by Elizabeth Moon

The newest edition to my list of recommended books about autism is The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon, available through the Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma County libraries’ catalog.

Moon is the author of several fantasy and science fiction novels. The Speed of Dark is the story of Lou, a man on the autism spectrum who works for a pharmaceutical company. His characteristics of autism enable Lou to identify patterns for his employer.

This book was brought to my attention through a comment by Julie Trebat in response to my list.

Before learning of this book, and learning that Moon is mother to a teen son with autism, my husband and I had read Moon’s fantasy omnibus, The Deed of Paksenarrion (Sheepfarmer’s Daughter, Divided Allegiance and Oath of Gold) and Legacy of Gird (Surrender None and Liar’s Oath).

I am grateful to Trebat for bringing this book to my attention.

The Speed of Dark addresses many serious issues, including accomodation in the workplace and the ethics of promoting -- even cooercing -- a medical treatment that will make a person “normal” in the views of society.

Is a person obligated to accept a medical treatment that someone else views as necessary? Is what society considers “normal” always right and desirable?

Does Lou make the right choice for him? Would his choice be the right one for other people on the spectrum? This book is sure to raise thought-provoking dialogue.

Disclosure of material connection: My taxes support my public library’s acquisition of this and other resources. I consider the access I enjoy to be a “priceless” return on my investment.

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