What Future: The Year’s Best Ideas to Reclaim, Reanimate and Reinvent Our Future

Edited by Torie Bosch and Roy Scranton. Unnamed, $18.99 trade paper (258p) ISBN 978-1-944-70045-4
Introducing this vital collection of forward-looking writing published in 2016, editors Bosch and Scranton (Fire and Forget) pull no punches: “The future is already here,” they write, “and it’s confusing as hell.” They’ve gathered together a solid collection of writers—Elizabeth Kolbert, Bill McKibben, and Laurie Penny, among others—to explore “what the future means as an idea” and how to come to terms with it. Formats range from short fiction to long investigative essays, and subjects include virtual reality, global warming, and “crime-predicting software.” Sarah Aziza investigates what self-driving cars would mean for women in Saudi Arabia, while Jeff VanderMeer looks at how “weird fiction” can make reality more understandable. Though a few pieces aren’t as polished as one might expect given their authors’ reputations, such as Kim Stanley Robinson’s choppy essay “Our Generation Ships Will Sink,” about space travel, their ideas they express and the explorations they undertake will endure. Indeed, Scranton’s essay “Anthropocene City,” subtitled “When the Next Hurricane Hits Texas,” has already taken on the ring of prophecy thanks to Hurricane Harvey. The overall tone is worried but optimistic. Don’t look for utopian fantasies here—look for topical, intelligent projections of a realistically better future. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/18/2017
Release date: 11/01/2017
Open Ebook - 978-1-944700-46-1
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