AN EXTRAORDINARILY RESONANT AND PROPHETIC COLLECTION OF SPECULATIVE SHORT FICTION FOR OUR TECH-SAVVY ERA BY DEBUT AUTHOR ALEXANDER WEINSTEIN
Children of the New World introduces readers to a near-future world of social media implants, memory manufacturers, dangerously immersive virtual reality games, and alarmingly intuitive robots. Many of these characters live in a utopian future of instant connection and technological gratification that belies an unbridgeable human distance, while others inhabit a post-collapse landscape made primitive by disaster, which they must work to rebuild as we once did millennia ago.
In “The Cartographers,” the main character works for a company that creates and sells virtual memories, while struggling to maintain a real-world relationship sabotaged by an addiction to his own creations. In “Saying Goodbye to Yang,” the robotic brother of an adopted Chinese child malfunctions, and only in his absence does the family realize how real a son he has become.
Children of the New World grapples with our unease in this modern world and how our ever-growing dependence on new technologies has changed the shape of our society. Alexander Weinstein is a visionary new voice in speculative fiction for all of us who are fascinated by and terrified of what we might find on the horizon.
Touching on virtual families, climate change, implanted memories, and more, Weinstein's debut collection of digital-age sci-fi stories is scary, recognizable, heartbreaking, witty, and absolutely human. In "Saying Goodbye to Yang," Jim has to shut down a malfunctioning Yang a humanoid who has been a "Big Brother" to Jim's adopted daughter for three years. In "The Cartographers," Adam designs and sells manufactured memories, until he gets so hooked on testing his software that he can no longer tell which memories are his own. "Heartland" shows a Midwest where topsoil is a precious commodity, and when a father loses his job "installing gardens," he resorts to exploiting the cuteness of his children to make ends meet. In the virtual-driven world of the title story, a couple lose their digital children to a reboot when they download a virus in the "Dark City." The disturbing and darkly funny "Rocket Night" features parents who gather annually to decide which least-liked child in the elementary school will be launched on a rocket to space. Complete with footnotes from fictional future publications and technology that is just one leap away, this is mind-bending stuff. Weinstein's collection is full of spot-on prose, wicked humor, and heart.
Great for Black Mirror Fans
I loved every single story. Each was complete and compact, so I never felt like I was missing anything but still wanted to know more about each little world. Very similar vibe to Black Mirror.
Spine tingling stories
“Don’t be afraid,” she whispers. “You’re being liberated.”