Everything Belongs to the Future
In the ancient heart of O ...more
This is Penny’s first foray into fiction I think. I am already a fan of her blogging and political writing. This is a dystopian novella set in Oxford in 2098. As one reviewer has aptly put it; it is “a tale of pharmadystopian, immortal gerontocrats.”
The idea is a simple one. In the early 21st century a drug is developed that maintains youth. It is very expensive, so only the rich can afford it. It is available with some job packages and the wealthy company owning the rights give it to s ...more
In the college town of Oxford, a small group of y ...more
One thing that worked for me particularly was the Oxford setting which I know well, living as I do just outside of it, so the sense of place was strong and the Oxford Laurie Penny creates is a compelling one. In a world where you can have longevity of life if you have enough money to pay for it whilst everyone else liv ...more
In 2098, scientists have created a Fountain of Youth in a little blue pill. This creates a gerotocracy that only further divides the haves from the have-nots, as the pill is marketed to the rich, and priced so only the wealthy have access. A small group of idealistic youths with aspirations of ...more
There's a lot of ideas to think about, the one that struck me while reading, is how the powerful have always stolen the time of the less powerful, be they the slaves, peasants, factory workers or just the working class. In reading the acknowledgments the author points out a real world inspiration (view spoiler)[As I write, a pub ...more
The nitty-gritty: A strong concept that should have worked, but for this reader, there just wasn’t enough emotional connection for me to enjoy the story.
Alex was a survivor. Alex wanted the fix, and that was the deal, the box of Turkish delight to sweeten the work of professional betrayal: half a century. Standard offer to all TeamThreeHundred employees with security clearance. Shit pay and long hours, but what did that matter when at the end of it all, you got fifty more years, at least?
Laurie Penny's long(ish) form fiction debut is a depressingly plausible update of John Wyndham's Trouble With Lichen, set in a late 21st century where eternal youth, like everything else, is freely available to those who can afford it and well out of reach for the rest. The scene is Oxford, in some ways an easy place to project forward a few decades because "Time works its insulting wizardry on everything that breathes, fixed or free, but Oxford never changes." The sense of a timeless space whic ...more
I found this a pleasant short story on a fairly familiar theme, which never really got past the point of being readable and good enough to while away some time with. I think my problem was that I essentially knew where it all was going, and the social commentary was pretty obvious. Thus, I find that I have correspondingly little to say about it. It’s competently written, and the conflict of the central character between his deceit and his love was perhaps the best ...more
It didn't disappoint. This was an amazing piece of dark, speculative fiction with a diverse and interesting cast of characters. The story revolves around a group of well-meaning anarchists, and is told from the point of view of Alex, who probably thinks he is a 'nice guy'.
This story left me wit ...more
(Full disclosure: I received a free ebook for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for rape.)
“All I wanted was to make something small and bright and good, something that lasted a little while, a little while longer than I did. All I wanted was to push back against the darkness just a little bit. To live in the cracks in capitalism with the people I care about, just for a little while. But it turns out ...more
The last part of the story feels cramped and unsatisfying compared to the great premise.
It was always somebody else's apocalypse. Until it wasn't. The end of the world was an endless dark tomorrow: always arriving but never actually here.
Not so much. This is an absolutely fascinating exploration of how we could and probably would fuck up something as amazing as eternal youth and health. Naturally it's not available to everyone; only the rich and/or famous need apply. The consequences being in the short term issues around money and property, with parents hanging on to their material a ...more
My one complaint is that it is TOO SHORT. I could have easily read another hundred pages, and wanted to get to know the characters better!!
The book centers around a couple crimes actually and brings up the ideas of breaking the law to do something moral and right, ...more
I’m not sure what grabbed me but I really like the way she writes, so naturally I head to Goodreads and then to Amazon. There I found “Your Orisons May Be Recorded ” a 22 page story that I wished was a full novel. Again, I am not sure why I found it so endearing but I wanted more.
So, yesterday I had to take a day off for doctor suff (nothing too ...more
Without giving too much away, this novella focuses on a future where anti-aging medication has been developed that allows people to delay aging by decades, even a century or two--but costs are so prohibitive that only the ultra-rich and privileged are given access ...more
"Time works its insulting wizardry on everything that breathes, fixed or free, but Oxford never changes."
If I could say only one positive thing about Laurie Penny's debut science fiction novella, it is that it wonderfully evokes Oxford and its atmosphere of a world that time forgot. The last time that I was in Oxford, I reflected with a couple of fellow alum (one of whom matriculated the same year as I did, 2004, the year before Penny) about what had changed in Oxford in the decade-plus since ma ...more
"Everything Belongs to the Future" takes place in the far future at Oxford University. When the story starts, someone is writing letters from prison and the sto ...more