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Everything Belongs to the Future

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  1,024 ratings  ·  169 reviews
Time is a weapon wielded by the rich, who have excess of it, against the rest, who must trade every breath of it against the promise of another day's food and shelter. What kind of world have we made, where human beings can live centuries if only they can afford the fix? What kind of creatures have we become? The same as we always were, but keener.

In the ancient heart of O
ebook, 128 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by
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Average rating 3.53  · 
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 ·  1,024 ratings  ·  169 reviews

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Althea Ann
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
For me, this was a story of diminishing returns. It started really, really strongly - I thought I was going to love it. 60-80 years in the future, society has been changed by the development of a drug that arrests the aging process. Problem is, it has to be taken daily, and of course, the wealthy elites have made sure that it is expensive enough to be out-of-reach of the masses. Naturally, this has exacerbated the rift between haves and have-nots.

In the college town of Oxford, a small group of y
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
4.5 stars
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
Liz Barnsley
Oct 22, 2016 rated it liked it
A short sharp read from Laurie Penny here in a novella length story which I banged through during a working break - intriguing premise, nicely done, but I wanted more to be honest.

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
Michael Hicks
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
For me, science fiction is at its best when it tells an allegorical story reflecting on issues of the present day, and this is what makes Laurie Penny's Everything Belongs To The Future such a strong work.

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
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Oh you, little novella, I very much liked you and your biopunk vibe.

Prior to reading, I knew nothing about the story or its author, just that I needed something short to help get my reading groove back. A premise inspired by true events is woven into a bleak vision of our future, one that is easy to imagine. I very much liked the narrative choices and writing style; I could feel the damp and smell the dumpster dive stew. Yum.
Emma Sea
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-story, spec-fic
Brilliant spec fic/sci-fi story, great structure. Wonderful characters who seemed so real to me. Loved it.
Thomas Wagner
[Revising rating after further thought. Looks like I'm going with 2.5. Full length review coming.]
Jun 20, 2016 rated it liked it

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?

mad mags
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Entertaining and thought-provoking, this novella left me wanting more. (Sooooo much 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
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love goodreads. I hadn't heard about this novella before a review by Alice showed up in my feed. Thanks to her review I got to read this thought provoking SF novella.

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)
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Important Story™

Review to come at not-6AM. Though 6AM in and of itself says plenty.
Alex Sarll

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
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this more than I did, as I've loved Laurie Penny's non-fiction work, but in the end this novella is just too slight on ideas and character to recommend. It reminds me a lot, actually, of the film In Time (itself based on a story, if I recall correctly), which was a smart concept on paper, but the film disappointed by not going into the idea with anything more than surface-level depth. That's sadly the case here. Penny's writing is fine—there's nothing bad here, but the ch ...more
Received to review via Netgalley

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
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't aware that Ms Penny had released any fictional work until recently. I've been a huge fan of her feminist and political writing for years, so I was really excited to find out she had a novel out.

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
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, scifi, dystopia
I tend to enjoy Laurie Penny’s non-fiction writing, notably Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution, so found the brevity and slightness of her first fiction book somewhat disappointing. I read this novella in about half an hour and my main response was contemplation of what constitutes an allegory. On the cover of ‘Everything Belongs to the Future’, a Cory Doctorow quote describes it as ‘pitiless allegory’. I would disagree, as to me allegory implies abstraction. The theme of the book is t ...more
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fast contemporary sci fi that is a fun little anarchist themed read.
I was intrigued by the concept of this novella but the execution fell short. The characters were flat and uninteresting, especially Alex, and seemed to exist only to serve the plot. The story quickly became a standard haves vs have nots tale, and its politics, no matter how laudable, were simplistic and overshadowed any of the story's nuances. The world building felt incomplete, and there was little emotional core to draw me into the story. On the positive side, Nina's letters were well-written ...more
Belinda Lewis
Dec 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Cool concept but really more a short story than a novella, and I think it suffers for it.

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.
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the near future the dividing line between the haves and have nots is access to immortality. This novella is a really interesting look at what the consequences would be and also taking from real life the actions of undercover police who infiltrate groups. Strongly recommended
Kara Babcock
It’s difficult to overstate how much I loved Laurie Penny’s Unspeakable Things . You should read it, full stop. So when I heard she had a novella coming out, of course I pre-ordered it right away. Whereas some science fiction speaks so optimistically to the potential for technological innovations to make our world better, Everything Belongs to the Future falls decidedly on the opposite side of that scale. The dystopian world that Penny imagines here is chilling because it feels all too realis ...more
The effect of youth-extending drugs on society has been explored many times before, and almost always better. I also find the counter-culture of the 2090s here frustratingly identical to the counter-culture of the 2010s. In short: there's a lack of imagination here all around.
David Rush
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I discovered Laurie Penny from an article about Milo Yiannopoulos during that media brouhaha. (check it out

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
Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this version of the future, a cure for ageing has been found and patented. The Fountain of Youth is real. Brilliant, right? Utopias for everyone.

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
Claire Kittridge
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it you know I'm a fan of crime and suspense fiction and anything with a badass lady protagonist. While this book is listed as SF--I gotta say it sure reads like a crime novel, and it definitely has a badass lady protagonist.

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,
Bonnie McDaniel
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
This was...okay. This is going to be a short review because there was nothing about this story and characters that impressed me well enough to wax rhapsodic over it. The worldbuilding is very thin, and while the characters are reasonably well drawn, their motivations and backstories are not explored in enough depth to make this an outstanding story.

Laurie Penny does have a sharp, concise writing style, however, no doubt due to her years as a journalist. I think she is a writer to follow, even i
Realms & Robots
Everything Belongs to the Future is a powerful novella, examining the wrongs of government in a future world that silences dissent in any form. On the surface, it's a look at the implications of a society where the rich are able to extend their lives by hundreds of years while the poor are left to live their normal lifespan. Deeper down, it's a condemnation of the unethical tactics used by the government to uncover the opposition and their desire to weaponize progress, no matter the cost.
Full re
Chris Walker
I'm a really big fan of Laurie Penny's non-fiction writing, so I was curious to see how I would like her fiction. Sadly, I found myself to be pretty disappointed. While I loved the concept and the politics of the book, I found the overall plot and characters to be underwhelming. Part of that is due to the fact that it's a short book, just over 100 pages long, so a lot of it feels sketched out rather than fully rendered. The biggest problem I had with it, and one that is maybe not surprising cons ...more
May 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Actual rating: 3.4/5

This book was a mixed bag. On the one hand, I really like the premise and some of the execution. The philosophical and moral implications of scientifically discovered immortality is fascinating to think about.

For every major plot point, there are usually important sub plots. Threads that pull together to create the perfect whole piece.

This book did a good job of dealing with direct/main plot of the story and I felt that it successfully resolved issues within that scope.

This science fiction novella packs a lot into 120-ish pages. I picked this up after reading about it on; Tor is really the only publisher that I actively follow and if they publish a book, it makes me instantly more interested.

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
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Laurie Penny is a journalist, an author, a feminist and a net denizen. She is Contributing Editor at New Statesman magazine, and writes and speaks on social justice, pop culture, gender issues and digital politics for The Guardian, The Independent, Vice, Salon, The Nation, The New Inquiry and many more. She is the author of Cybersexism, Penny Red and Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism, as ...more

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“It was always somebody else’s apocalypse. Until it wasn’t.” 1 likes
“History shows us that the ramifications of any new technology have as much to do with how we choose to distribute it as they have to do with the technology itself.” 0 likes
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