5 stars – AR Cubitt
Imagine the world in the not too distant future where all the land is gobbled up by housing, and the last remaining scrap of countryside is turned into a manicured theme park.
This park is tended by androids, known as ‘bods’, who clean up after the animals, (known as ‘lifeforms’) for the benefit of Intrepid Guests (visitors).
Paftoo is one such bod, but one who has memories, which have to be deleted to keep him compliant. But no matter how many times he’s reprogrammed, he just can’t let go of the past. And the key to that past is his relationship with the particular lifeform three of the title, a horse called Pea.
As much a love letter to the countryside as it is a compelling story, this novel begs the reader to consider just what we as individuals will have to do to save our green and pleasant lands so that future generations can enjoy them.
Beautifully taut and well-crafted writing, with complex characterisation, Lifeform Three will appeal to readers who enjoy literary speculative fiction and thought-provoking environmental fiction.