The father of fembot slaves is dead. Ira Levin's novel The Stepford Wives touched on the gender anxieties of a generation — the men who felt their wives were reneging on their traditional domestic role, and the women who feared their husbands wanted them to be machines. But the most shocking thing about The Stepford Wives, even to today's readers?
It's actually a scary book. If you've only seen the movies, especially the 2004 remake, you won't be expecting a tense, tightly paced paranoid thriller. But that's what you get:
She stood straight and listened; a tiny-toothed chittering came from behind her, from the phone on the night table; came again and again, long, short, long.
He was dialing the den phone.
Calling Dale Coba to tell him she was there. Proceed with plans. All systems go.
This book influenced the gender politics of an entire generation by creating a horrifying metaphor for its darkest fears.
Author of The Stepford Wives Dead at 88 [Scifi Scanner]