Condescending Know-It-All 1: Dudes … did she say astrology?
Condescending Know-It-All 2: I read it, dudes, and there’s no astrology in it. There’s no magic, no superstition, no ghosts, no psychic powers, no prophecies. She specifically mentions churches a few times in passing, but we never visit them. There are universal human rights, although different countries have different ways of providing for their citizens. It’s … pragmatic AF. The science stuff could really happen, from the cleanbeams to the deoxygenated ocean creating extreme air turbulence making flight impossible to the injectable tiny robot doctors … okay, the bioengineered dinos are pushing it a bit, but for the most part it’s hard science fiction about a future in which we have survived all the forecasted diasters. And it never even mentions astrology – nobody checks their horoscope or asks “what’s your sign, baby?” There’s no chosen one, and the only reference to destiny is a joke, and people succeed by using their brains and skills.
Condescending Know-It-All 3: What you totally missed, dude, is that the characters all represent the planets and their archetypes, and they interact with the Sun (Sonny) as he spends a year transiting through the twelve houses/chapters, beginning with the first house on the Spring Equinox, in which the Sun is exalted, Saturn (Ms. Blocker) falls and Mars (Rufus Marshall) rules. Then they move into the second house, which is ruled by Venus/Risha, where they find cows and real estate; the third house/chapter is where Dr. Quicksilver/Mercury has hospital privileges. And so on.
Condescending Know-It-All 1: But but but …
Condescending Know-It-All 3: It’s astrology from before it got coopted into a celebration of shallow narcissism (to evade fortune telling laws) in the early 20th century. Doesn’t exactly work with complete accuracy, but there’s enough grains of truth and poetic symbolism in there that have warranted keeping it alive since antiquity. The general outline of it was taught to the educated as a sort of mental filing cabinet, like the Dewey Decimal System, to help with bulk memorization tasks in an era we internet-friendly folks can scarcely imagine.
Condescending Know-It-All 4: [strokes hipster beard] Well, it’s also the metaphysical experiment of writing a completely secular, grounded, scientific, rational futuristic story on top of what amounts to an esoteric spiritual journey which adheres steadfastly to centuries-old symbolism. The author might even be making a point about how both can exist in the same space (without even really interacting with each other, in fact, yet moving in harmony). Possibly in a convoluted attempt to have the last word in a decades-old argument before she can drop it and write about something else.
AUTHOR: I’m gonna do even weirder stuff in Chapter 11, just foreshadowing. Also, quit talking about all this meta stuff, I’m trying to write some crappy pulp fiction here.
Condescending Know-It-All Chorus: We’re all gonna need some refreshments.