FarsideAbove is an excerpt from a Science Fiction novel that I picked up at the library yesterday for light bedtime reading. It’s by a master of the genre who has been active as a writer since the 1960s.

The novel was published by a leading New York SF publisher in 2013, and is set in the late 21st century when humanity is on the cusp of establishing an observatory on the far side of the moon.

To the author’s credit, one of his central characters is a female astronomer (a Canadian, no less). True, he does describe her as “mousy” when he introduces her, and has her fretting over her appearance when she meets a hunky fellow passenger on the flight that delivers her to the moon’s far side.

Then this passage popped up a few chapters later as part of the character’s back story. It reads like an excerpt from the memoirs of a certain comic who’s been in the news a lot lately. I’m not far enough into the book to know if the author has the character revisit the sexual assault in a more substantive manner in future chapters (perhaps by seeking justice against her assailant) but I’m not holding my breath. The “that” that the character is referring to, btw, is losing her virginity.

Bizarre that a scene like this could appear in a book published in 2013.