Foe by Iain Reid at Josee’s

This was our third pandemic era book club meeting – wonderful to have this technology but wouldn’t it be nice to see each other in person (although you can see Jane and Laura’s feet in this picture 😷)

From Erin:

Yes … thanks Josee for a well researched base for our discussion, which was as always enjoyable and informative.  I am one of the ones who didn’t catch on entirely until the end… and now it’s occurring to me… when I saw FOE in caps that the title could stand for Friend Or Enemy… which could be an interesting way to discuss the appearance of the stranger… and perhaps friend or enemy to whom? 

From Bev:

An interesting choice and not my preferred genre but I like that the book club stretches us to read and discuss out of our comfort zone. 

Good thinking on the meaning of FOE, Erin. Could he be asking us as we did, to delve into the rapid advances in technology to consider if AI in particular is Friend or Foe. Maybe it is a mixed bag and we have to decide. Is Huwai’s G5 ability to spy on us and perhaps compromise our privacy outweigh it’s other vast benefits. Can we curb misuse?
Corporate greed? I am so naive. I hope Henn found happiness. Questions and more questions.

From Jill:

Thanks Josee, I found the book fascinating and couldn’t put it down, even though I wasn’t sure who was meant to be who in what role, and the ‘visitor’ annoyed me in that he seemed to think it was his right to impose on the couple when they clearly didn’t want him there, especially Junior. At first Henrietta was against him, then she welcomed him.
It was good to hear everyone’s comments and thoughts on the story and it helped me to understand it. 
Maybe I was reading the story too literally? I also liked that the theme  focussed on their relationship as the story unfolded, and wondered how it would affect our own lifestyles and our reactions under the same circumstances. 

From Moira:

Great discussion as always, thank you Josee for the research and for exposing us to the novel. I was wondering afterwards if the AI version of Junior aged over the 2 years he spent with Hen or does he stay the same as when he was calibrated? 

Interesting question about the title Foe- friend or enemy? maybe it’s a play on the word FAUX?  haha, who knows.

From Karen:

I really enjoyed our philosophical, futuristic, sci-fi, discussion yesterday.  My take on it is that we all seem leery about the future.   Perhaps FOE and the pandemic are influencing our thinking?  Great discussion as always.  I do appreciate the chance to use ZOOM to meet though to be honest, it will be a treat to see everyone IN PERSON at Jane’s next month –  even if we can’t hug each other.
Thanks Josee for bringing Ian Reid’s novel to our attention.  It will be interesting to see the film adaption.  I wonder which themes the scriptwriter and director will focus on.

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