My wife was surprised that I had never read Brave New World. It seemed to her that this novel by Aldous Huxley was generally considered required reading in school. She ordered it for me along with 1984 by George Orwell, which by coincidence I haven’t read either. It seems that I somehow went to the wrong schools as a kid, and missed out on some classics. I’m trying to remedy this.
I wouldn’t really call Brave New World a sci-fi novel. It’s more of a criticism of utopian society. The setting is in London around 2540 AD, where society is broken down into castes. Human reproduction is done in a “hatchery” where babies are created in bottles and subjected to varying conditions in order to guide development into one of the five classes (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon). Aside from modifying biological factors, each child is “trained” with techniques ranging from aversion therapy to repeating phrases over and over when they sleep.