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We Are Satellites

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  369 ratings  ·  94 reviews
From award-winning author Sarah Pinsker comes a novel about one family and the technology that divides them.

Everybody's getting one.

Val and Julie just want what's best for their kids, David and Sophie. So when teenage son David comes home one day asking for a Pilot, a new brain implant to help with school, they reluctantly agree. This is the future, after all.

Soon, J
Kindle Edition, 373 pages
Published May 13th 2021 by Head of Zeus (first published May 11th 2021)
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Jonathan Strahan While it definitely is, that element is not foregrounded. We Are Satellites is the story of a family made up of two moms (who are plainly in love with…moreWhile it definitely is, that element is not foregrounded. We Are Satellites is the story of a family made up of two moms (who are plainly in love with one another) and two kids. The relationship between the two moms is explored, but more from a family angle than a romantic one. Hope that helps.(less)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  369 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Visionary, scary, realistic, dark, original , mind bending, extra smart, well researched, unique, extraordinary!

This book reminds you of the importance of reading more sci-fi novels to understand your present lives and prepare yourselves about what the future may bring to you!

It has sophisticated approach to the brain enhancing technology with four different voices!

We’re introduced to lovely and concerning couple Val and Julie who always think what’s best for their children : David and Sop
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
4.0 Stars
This was an intelligent and thoughtful piece of science fiction that explored the ramifications of introducing brain enhancing technology  Told over multiple perspectives and jumping through time, this story showed the possible long term effects and consequences of this imagined future. 

At its core, this was very much a character driven story. The four main characters  were each clearly defined with unique personalities and traits. Each chapter listed the character's name, but it quickl
May 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-read
3.5 stars

An engaging story about a pervasive new technology that divides people in yet another way.

Told from four POVs, We Are Satellites illustrates this division from the internal perspective of a family whose members each have sometimes opposing opinions and are differently affected by the technology used by themselves (or not) and others around them.

I thought this was well-written, and Pinsker did a nice job of giving each character a distinctive voice. Especially in the case of Sophie and D
May 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't overwhelmed by "Song of a New Day" by the same author, so my expectations were accordingly before I started reading. But this novel worked so much better for me. The characters are well developed and interesting to follow along, the family dynamic is strong, believable and wholesome. And I love the concept that it is not 'us' against 'them', but that the line of discord runs through the family itself. This way both sides get proper reflection without a black-and-white painting. ...more
Karen’s Library
May 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I finished this book in one day so that tells me I really liked it!!

This was a realistic look at futuristic tech that is probably being worked on right now, it just seemed so plausible. Pilots are the wave of the future and everyone has one. This tech is inserted in the wearers temple and it’s connected to the brain which allows the user to multitask on several items at once rather than having to focus on one item at a time. As more and more people get a Pilot, the ones that don’t have th
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book so much that I dreamed about it the night after I finished it! At the start of the book, Julie and Val are trying to decide whether to get a Pilot for their son, David. Pilots are a new technology that allow people to multitask better, and David has been struggling in school. But this is a brain implant, and there are definitely risks involved. Plus Sophie, their daughter, has epilepsy, and she can never have a Pilot. As the Pilots become more ubiquitous, we follow the family t ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
In the near future, a new technology is available that makes your brain able to multitask and work faster. The two moms in the central story are at odds about it but give in when their son begs for one, because his classmates are leaving him behind.

They give in, even though it costs all of their savings. While his friends seem to find it easy to adapt to the new stimulation, he is never able to separate himself from "the noise." Not long after, he is recruited by the army, much to his mothers'
Di Maitland
I am so glad I read this book. A number of the situations spoke to me about my own experiences and it was a relief to see them down on paper for the first time. I think a lot of people are going to love this and it'd make a great book club read because it's contemporary and there's lots to discuss.

’What kind of society were they creating where kids voluntarily changed their brains to keep pace with all the input coming at them?’

We Are Satellites follows an American family as they navigate th
Misha (Heartsfullofreads)
This was an incredibly thought provoking read.

I liked that the author had a family of four who all had different views on a pilot. The pilot meant something different to each of them and their voices were so strong.

I have never read anything quite like David's chapters and the author did wonderful capturing his thoughts and his feelings.

I especially liked looking into the future where gender wasn't assumed and everyone was able to live their truth peacefully.
Sarah Jayyn

🔊🔊🔊🔊 (four stars as rated in all the noise in your mind that never ever stops)

When Val and Julie’s son David comes home from school asking for a Pilot, a new brain implant that improves brain function, they reluctantly agree. The doctors all assure them it’s safe and, with the new technology becoming commonplace, more kids at David’s school have them than do not. But with the many benefits of the Pilot come downsides as well. What of Sophie, David’s younger sister who has epilepsy and whose brai
May 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 8.0/10

Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of We Are Satellites for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

We Are Satellites is an intriguing novel that explores the impact of futuristic technology at home and abroad. Pinsker introduces a character-driven story that nails a “family first” mentality with the complications of being left behind in a constantly progressing society.

While We Are Satellites is not a normal go-to type novel
Synopsis: Teacher Val and political staffer Julie are mothers of two children, David and Sophie. They live at a time when a new technology is becoming nearly mandatory for everyone: A brain implant, the Pilot, enhances the ability to multitask. Visible to everyone are the blue lights at the temple.

David is the family's first to get one. He enlists for a special military service troop and becomes the poster boy for the product. The other family members are far more reluctant. Julie doesn't want t
Geonn Cannon
May 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I... liked this. I think it's more 3.5 stars, but I rounded up because I'm a fan of the author. I don't know why the story didn't really click with me. I didn't particularly like the ending, but it also felt like the natural way for it to all wrap up. So maybe it's just that it didn't work for me personally, and other readers will find it perfect. ...more
May 17, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
DNF at 66% -- Do not like the narrative or the message of the book and have decided, in a rare moment of self-indulgence -- to just quit reading it instead of forcing myself to finish something I will rate poorly. If there's one thing I can't stand, it is reading adult books with children having a huge part of the narrative voice. I didn't like the characters and the "activism" and the very slow moving story. ...more
Jessica Gentile
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Guaranteed to fill the Black Mirror-shaped hole in your heart!
May 23, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Let me preface this by saying there are a lot of strong things about this book. There are people who will really enjoy this, for very valid reasons.

It's rock solid on concept. Pinsker imagines a society going through a sudden and foundational upheaval due to the rapid adoption of a piece of technology that promises better attention, focus, multi-tasking and productivity.

And then she imagines the many nuanced impacts, intentional and unintentional. She talks about the people who, due to choice o
May 26, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: futuristic, sci-fi
This is more than just a science-fiction tale, it's a character-driven story about a loving family, a story about changing technology and values, about discrimination and conforming/nonconforming, understanding that knowledge is power and standing up for yourself and others. Very well written characters with chapters enabling each one to tell their own POV. It flows very well. The voice of each is easily distinguished and all are likeable in their own ways. Every individual adds important narrat ...more
Jun 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two members of a family decide to get a Pilot implanted in their brain to help their ability to focus and multitask and the other two do not.

This was a very entertaining story. It talked about family - what happens if some of you do something that the others would spend the last breath in their body screaming against? Do you stay friends (you're stuck with staying family)? It talks about peer pressure - if there's a new tech gadget that everyone's getting, don't you have to get it, too? I loved
May 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer
3.5 stars (3.25? Idk), but rounding up because the last third of the book hit me pretty hard. This feels like it would have been a really popular literary book if the prose was better, because the characters and their reactions and emotions are very complex and realistic, but in order to be enthusiastic about a full novel of meandering emotional experiences it generally has to be enjoyable to read on a line by line level, which this just isn't imo. I did love the exploration of technology though ...more
We Are Satellites is one of those books which is barely SF at all, being pretty much a modern day story with a little added technology that doesn't exist (yet, at least) and then exploring the repercussions of that, for a single family and society as a whole.

The basic premise of the book is that a company has invented a piece of hardware (the Pilot) you can have implanted into your brain which will give you the ability to truly multitask. This quickly becomes a requisite, with employers refusin
A contemporary story with near future science fiction elements. It had all the feels and I really cared about the characters.
May 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much like Sarah Pinsker’s debut novel A Song for a New Day, We Are Satellites draws strength from its lightly speculative but all too believable premise: the invention and near-ubiquitous implementation of a device called a Pilot, a brain implant that allows for functional multitasking. While this may seem like a rather tame premise, the way Pinsker unfolds the conflict makes this an unputdownable book, one that reads like a novel length episode of Black Mirror and leaves you with an equal amoun ...more
S.J. Higbee
Jun 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Initially, I started this one waiting for the family dynamic to twist into something darker… For there to be a hidden, nasty past that would catch up with Val or Julie; for there to be something dire about the children’s origins; for an alien something to come crawling out of the woodwork and capitalise on the Pilot. And I’m delighted to say that nothing like that happened. This book is more intelligently plotted than that.

Instead, it is a real look at a likely scenario that could unfold within
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight


We Are Satellites is both thought provoking, and incredibly family focused, and I loved both of those elements! It's set in a reasonably near future, where brain implants, known as Pilots, are gaining popularity. They are supposed to help users multi-task and use their brain more efficiently, so of course people are signing up for them left and right. Parents Val and Julie are divide
Dan Trefethen
There's an axiom in science fiction: We change the technology, then the technology changes us.

This book epitomizes that. If people got a device in their head the made them multitask more efficiently, how long would it take before everyone felt compelled to get one so they wouldn't be left behind? Wouldn't parents want their children to have that advantage? Would employers still hire people who didn't have the super-multitasking ability?

This is a story about one family that showcases all that. J
Jun 06, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last couple of chapters felt rushed and the ending was not realistic. Like the author went to all that trouble to create a world for us where people started getting Pilots and just as the characters started asking important questions about them you get fast-forwarded to the future where no real answers were given except that BNL or whatever it's called was shut down. Like it was briefly mentioned 'oh and that research showed that and that' but let's focus on the dinner scene instead . Also i ...more
Arbys Mom
May 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sarah does it again, with a fantastic story, wonderful characters, and a science fiction premise that runs the gamut of emotions. I felt joy at the love this family has, and my heart broke whenever they felt pain, physical or emotional. When one of them struggled with the consequences of their decisions, I could totally relate. I can’t wait to see what Sarah thinks of next!
May 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this story. It falls into a sub genre I’ve been really enjoying lately—the ethics and moralities of personal technology in a not so distant future. The philosophical and familial drama built into this narrative was AMAZING. Bonus: Pinsker is a Baltimore local!
Jun 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. I enjoyed the near-future SF backdrop, but what I really loved was the family relationships. Sarah Pinsker writes relationships between characters like no other author I have read - her characters feel so real, and interact with each other in a way that is so believable and relatable.
Mark Gibbons
May 22, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Started promising and went downhill from there. Gave up at 30% when it became much less about the core idea and more a traditional relationship story with some unsubtle "activism" thrown in. ...more
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237 likes · 135 comments
“We know Pilots don’t make anybody smarter. They don’t teach good study skills. They aren’t a replacement for teachers or books. If a kid is in tenth grade and reading on a third-grade level, he’s not going to magically start comprehending quantum physics or To the Lighthouse just because he has a Pilot . It’s a superficial fix. A bandage for a paper cut on a finger when there’s a sucking chest wound, too.” 0 likes
“It was illegal to discriminate in a job interview because somebody didn’t have a Pilot, but how could you prove that was happening? They’d just say there was a more qualified candidate. The proof was right there on the side of your head, saying you were not as fast as you said you were, couldn’t possibly be, and even if you were , maybe something was wrong with you that you couldn’t have one.” 0 likes
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