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Universal Love

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  32 ratings  ·  19 reviews
A hypnotic collection of speculative fiction about compassion, love, and human resilience in the technological hyper-age, from Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of the New World.

Universal Love welcomes readers to a near-future world where our everyday technologies have fundamentally altered the possibilities and limits of how we love one another. In these gripping
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published January 21st 2020 by Henry Holt & Company
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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 ·  32 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Oct 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Does technology benefit deep meaningful relationships, or does it strip us of that intimacy? How do we find a positive balance? In these short stories, the reader examines layers of technological advancement possibilities and the effect on family, relationships, and life’s purpose. Will technology replace parenting? Or, has that process already began? In the future, will we need an active physical military to go abroad for tours or will gamers connected to drones suffice? Should we be able to ...more
I loved – LOVED! – Alexander Weinstein’s 2016 debut Children of the New World, an all-killer, no-filler collection of short fiction set in near-future worlds. The stories within share themes and moods: each depicts a world ravaged by humans and altered by technology, each has a strong emotional component and an emphasis on connection between people, and there are intimations of a shred universe between stories. This is essentially more of the same; if that sounds like a criticism, I should point ...more
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No reviews for this one yet? Oh, that’s criminal. Well, ok then I’m the first. And nothing but good things to say. In fact, Weinstein’s first collection was pretty awesome. There is a trend now (as trends tend to go of picking a pop culture darling and comparing things to it) of comparing a specific kind of speculative fiction stories with morals to Black Mirror. If a book deals with social implications of technology, it’s practically a shoe in. And the thing is not every book can and/or should ...more
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Universal Love is a collection of short stories that hits all the marks of what a short story collection can - and should - be. So often, collections like this are off on something, something hard to put a finger on, like flow, length, tone, or message. But this book is inventive, moving, human, and captivating all at once. Not only does Weinstein construct haunting near-future worlds of dystopian technology, but he connects each of them to a lesson about true human connection. What we gain in ...more
Stacy Fetters
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads, giveaway
"Mom, in her death, was helping me understand that everyone carried around an inner world they never shared."

This was f**king amazing and now I need to read his other book.

Auderoy Lin
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it

Everyone carried around an inner world they never shared.

Because I know there are countless timelines where I'm someone good, parallel universes where I make the right choices and no one gets hurt, infinite realities where I'm a better human being. And maybe, if I try hard enough, one of those realities can also be this one.

I was always leaving anyhow, on my way toward some other world, full of strangers, one of them my mother, and a future, which like a deep-sea fish is out there waiting
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an engaging and thought provoking story collection set in the near future. A facinating premis on technologies that radically alter our ability to love one another.

Technology is so easily accessible and always evolving, so the idea behind these stories was an instant draw for me, very futuristic, they didn't dissapoint!

My favorite story was about two sisters seeking to comfort their father in the wake of their mothers death. The "Nostalgia App" takes their old feeds and creates a
Harper Kincaid
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I must have picked up this ARC three times before I committed to reading this book. Mostly because I'm not usually a fan of speculative fiction and I find short stories viscerally unsatisfying.
I am thrilled to say how wrong I am on both accounts, at least when it comes to Alexander Weinstein.
His latest collection, Universal Love, explores the inevitable-albeit fascinating-counterpoint between the evolution of technology in our lives and its isolating influences on human intimacy. To say I was
Anna W.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very intriguing book about the intersection of positive and negative technology, or whether there is a difference.

Weinstein’s style reminds me of Blake Crouch, and his stories leave me with a similar mixture of both awe and dread at what our world could one day include.

A recommended read for any sci-fi reader or one looking to branch out.

Special thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this collection of stories.
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved Weinstein's CHILDREN OF THE NEW WORLD, so I was eager to read this title. The speculative stories inUNIVERSAL LOVE imagine how future technology will impact humanity; how we survive, how we come to know ourselves, and how we connect to each other.The premises seem far-fetched, but terrifyinglynot the more you read.

I enjoyed every single story, but "Beijing" and "ComfortPorn" were my favorites by far.LGBTQ+ folks who've been made to feel that living authentically creates problems for
Kelso McNaught
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I first read this synopsis, I thought I was in for a spooky scary time a la Black Mirror. I was delightfully surprised on these little bits of compassion throughout each story.
If Ray Bradbury had a literary baby with John Darnelle, Alexander Weinstein would be the result. Beautifully written with great detail to characters without being overly wordy. Such a treasure.
Every main character is trying to find a real connection. From connecting to a holographic version of a mother to searching
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
** I read an advance reader copy of this book. **

Lovely collection of short, generally twisted, and not-at-all-happy-ever-after short stories about human relationships. I really enjoyed these, especially "The Year of Nostalgia" (I particularly liked the twist at the end, GIGO for any programmers reading this!); "Beijing" (Is it better to be alone and miserable but true to who you are or loved and cared for while being someone else?); and "Infinite Realities" (I have a weakness for new takes on
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Henry Holt and Co. for the ARC copy of Universal Love: Stories.

After receiving this in the mail, I wasn't sure if I would read it or not. I decided to give it a whirl and I am so glad that I did. Each of these stories has depth, emotion, and humanity in various ways. The love of family, lack of love, strange love all develop in a world where we become accommodating to shifting technologies and societal changes. I think that Universal Love is a thought-provoking look into a future
Jan 18, 2020 rated it liked it
I originally picked up this book because the description sounded like Black Mirror in story form and boy was I not wrong. Almost every story is based in the near future where technology has made a big impact on our lives. There were some stories I liked more than others, i.e. The Year of Nostalgia, I found the ending really funny. But most of them there was this underlying sadness, some bittersweet, some just plain bitter, that makes you stop and think about what the world could come to, if we ...more
Nick Gardner
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Weinstein weaves heart, myth, and technology into his stories not only as a warning against a possible dystopian future, but also in a manner that allows the reader to gain a deeper understanding of the current human condition. I always look to speculative fiction to make me think about the present from the viewpoint of the future and this collection definitely does that. Weinstein throws enough wit at the reader to get through the hard parts and enough heart to keep you hanging on every word.
Kathleen Gray
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful! Short story fans know that the best way to read collections is to dip in and out - and it's always nice to read one just before turning out the light at night. Doing that with this collection might mean you lie awake a bit longer thinking. Weinstein explores the connection between technology, reality, and emotion. Each story features someone grappling with an issue and the tech which could either ease or worsen it. While it could be characterized as sci-fi, it's got a huge heart. ...more
Kim McGee
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Modern love literally is explored in these creative and honest look at what love might look like in the future. The stories range from loving your family to loving others but all of them take a hard look at what love means in a technologically prevalent society. They will make you cry, laugh and most certainly make you look at your own relationships. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
Keith Taylor
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love the way Weinstein has found to write speculative fiction. There is a tone and an approach which is unique in my reading. Here's a little review I wrote for a local site:
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, five-stars
[ARC] Fuck yeaaaaaaaaaaaaah Black Mirror short stories!!!!!!!!!!
Graham Hotchkiss
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