In the Books Section:
Discussed April 2017
By Geoff Ryman
Buy Air from Amazon.com
- Mae – A fashion expert in a remote village
- Mrs. Tung – Mae's “other self”
- Joe, Siao, Mr. Ken – Mae's lovers
- Kwan, Sunni, Sezen – Mae's chief allies in Progress
- Mr. Oz, Tunch, Bugsy, Fatima – Key forces and players from the world beyond the village
- The Villagers
- Did you finish the book?
- Did you like it? Why or why not?
- Setting: The story was set primarily in a village in a country Ryman made up, yet which
has many elements we might recognize from similar locations in the real world.
- What did you think of the setting? The village? How did setting the story in a place
that would be foreign to a Western audience affect your reading and what we might have thought about the story?
- Why do you think Ryman chose to make up a country rather than use the real world?
- The book was published in the early 2000's, and takes place in a time close to “now” - did it feel
- Ryman tackles a lot in Air....culture clashes, generational changes, the digital divide, religious
differences, gender struggles....which of them do you think he handled well? What do you
think he didn't handle well?
- Air.....let's talk about Air. What did you think of the “always there, we're always connected, access to everything and everyone” technology.....would a story about Air have worked as well
if it were written today during this period of backlash against globalization?
- What characters stood out to you? Why? Did you think Ryman's characters felt “realistic”?
- The story is primarily driven by female characters. How do you think Ryman did with that?
Did you find that unusual?
- Did you find the ending of Air hopeful? Sad? How do the characters fare after the Flood (of
water) and the Flood (of the future)?
- The subtitle of the book is Have, Not Have – in what ways is that subtitle played out in the
story? Why do you think Ryman used that subtitle?
- Would you read more Ryman?