Beta-Life

Martyn Amos and Ra Page. Comma (commapress.co.uk), $16.95 trade paper (390p) ISBN 978-1-905583-65-2
In an interesting literary experiment, scientist Amos and Comma Press founder Page (The New Uncanny) pair literary and SF writers with scientists to explore the implications of new and upcoming technologies, in stories set in the year 2070. Even the weaker inclusions are interesting, and there are plenty of truly strong ones. Martyn Bedford’s “Sayer of Sooth” is a witty metafictional romp featuring lie-detecting goggles and a long-lost SF anthology. Frank Cottrell-Boyce’s “Bruno Wins!” takes the “Internet of Things” and social media to interesting levels, while Adam Roberts’s “A Swarm of Living Robjects Around Us” explores the political and personal implications of intelligent personal robotics systems. Annie Kirby’s “Luftpause” and Stuart Evers’s “Everyone Says” offer humanistic looks at the implications involved in the technology-driven loss of privacy. Equally fascinating are the essays in which the scientists explain the present-day state of the tech in question. Amos and Page’s anthology will appeal to any fan of futurism, pairing strong science-based stories with solid characters. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/26/2015
Release date: 09/01/2014
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