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by Szpara, K. M.,

Format: Print Book 2020
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K. M. Szpara's Docile is a science fiction parable about love and sex, wealth and debt, abuse and power, a challenging tour de force that at turns seduces and startles.

There is no consent under capitalism.

To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents' debts and buy your children's future.

Elisha Wilder's family has been ruined by debt, handed down to them from previous generations. His mother never recovered from the Dociline she took during her term as a Docile, so when Elisha decides to try and erase the family's debt himself, he swears he will never take the drug that took his mother from him.

Too bad his contract has been purchased by Alexander Bishop III, whose ultra-rich family is the brains (and money) behind Dociline and the entire Office of Debt Resolution. When Elisha refuses Dociline, Alex refuses to believe that his family's crowning achievement could have any negative side effects--and is determined to turn Elisha into the perfect Docile without it.

Content warning: Docile contains forthright depictions and discussions of rape and sexual abuse.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "This debut novel imagines a world in which a system has developed to provide a "solution" to generational debt, where debtors sign up to become Dociles, completely submissive servants to the rich and powerful. Elisha Wilder attempts to sell off his parents' debts by becoming a Docile, but plans on avoiding the seeming cognitive decline his mother suffered from being a Docile by refusing Dociline, the drug that insulates those entering the program from its effects. Elisha's new patron, Alex Bishop, is not only a rich doctor who Elisha feels confusingly attracted to, but is also a member of the prominent family that invented Dociline. Alex and Elisha's growing affection for each other is complicated by the inequities of power, and may have consequences for the Docile program as a whole. Exploring issues of consent, debt, and the power dynamics between the rich and poor, Szpara's debut examines how structures of power can deform and manipulate human relationships. Recommended for those interested in sf that explores power and sexuality, with content warnings for issues of consent."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Szpara's disquieting and riveting debut raises pressing questions about power and consent amid plentiful kinky gay sex scenes. Set in a near-future America where pharmaceuticals are used to induce sexual submission, 21-year-old Elisha Wilder sells himself into sexual slavery as a Docile to erase his parents' crushing debt. Alexander Bishop, 30-year-old heir to the fortune behind the memory-erasing, compliance-ensuring drug Dociline, buys Elisha for a life-term to prove to his family that he shares their values and is ruthless enough to head the company. But angry, defiant Elisha refuses to take Dociline, having witnessed the drug's effects on his mother, and Alex resorts to harsh conditioning, sexual punishment, and force to make Elisha his submissive. As Elisha begins to cave under Alex's training, their relationship evolves into something resembling a romance, baffling both Elisha's family and Alex's elite social circle. But when a former lover's jealousy pushes Alex to take extreme action, the novel veers into a layered courtroom drama with plenty of surprises. Elisha's rapid conversion to docile and Alex's limited self-awareness, however, cloud this sharply written examination of consent. This queer dystopia is an arresting, disturbing, and ultimately satisfying challenge. (Mar.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Debt -- Fiction.
Dystopias -- Fiction.
Science fiction.
Dystopian fiction.
Publisher New York :2020
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 492 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9781250216151
Other Classic View