Children of the New World

Alexander Weinstein. Picador, $16 ISBN 978-1-250-09899-3
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. Agent: Leigh Feldman, Leigh Feldman Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/2016
Release date: 09/13/2016
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-1-250-09900-6
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