It would be easy to dismiss Goldilocks by Laura Lam as a space drama. To do so, however, would mean ignoring the most interesting aspects of the novel, at your detriment. For, the power of the novels lies not in the fact that a majority of it occurs in space but rather all of the factors that brought the women together and keeps them on their mission.
At its heart, Goldilocks is a depressing and yet hopeful extrapolation of climate change projections and political policy harbingers. In other words, Ms. Lam simply looked at current data and political trends and made some guesses on what the future would look like should we, as a globe, continue on our same course. What she shows is not pretty. In fact, most of what she shows is downright depressing.
Thankfully, Ms. Lam does not dwell on what is but on what can be. Goldilocks becomes a call for widespread action to save the planet and save ourselves because, unlike in the novel, there is no backup planet. Even if there was, we still have no way to get there within one person’s lifetime. Ms. Lam shows that we all must make tough decisions and that those decisions must not mean abandoning our moral compass.
In addition to the climate issues, Ms. Lam presents a hypothetical scenario should current nationalistic tendencies in global governments continue. Anyone living in the United States for the past three years will understand the growing misogynistic tendencies occurring in healthcare and education and will recognize Ms. Lam’s future as a possibility, however distant. Readers immediately understand the frustration of all five women and the actions they take. Still, we must take heed of the warning and take steps to ensure the future of our daughters does not mimic Ms. Lam’s hypothetical one.
Goldilocks is a book club’s dream novel. It provides ample opportunities to discuss fact versus fiction and reality from imagination as it pertains to our current situation versus that posed by Ms. Lam. For those readers not in a book club, the novel still presents scenarios worthy of reflection and may even induce you to action. You can’t ask for more from a novel than that.