New Science Fiction has arrived at A.K. Smiley Public Library. While you stay inside trying to avoid the heat, pick up some new books and think of a not-so-distant future…. fall.
Mosscap and Sibling Dex return in “A Prayer for the Crown-Shy.” In the second novel of Becky Chamber’s Monk and Robot series, Mosscap begins their quest to discover what humans need. But as Mosscap continues their quest amongst the humans, they begin to feel as though they are losing connection with the robot society. As Mosscap wanders the countryside, contemplating the nature of the self, Dex begins to ask introspective questions as well. Dex wrestles with the question of existence without purpose and the need to contribute to society even at great personal harm. Another great and hopeful entry into the science fiction genre, Chambers continues the complex question of what it means to exist in the world and to be human.
Another science fiction entry, but much darker, Christopher Rowe shows the world after a sentient AI war has come to pass in the “These Prisoning Hills.” Athena Parthenus, an AI, started a war and began to take over humans and nature through nanotechnology. One day she disappears and leaves behind an infected and corrupted landscape in the American Southeast. This is where Marcia, a veteran of the AI war must travel at the behest of the remaining federal government. On a rescue mission Marcia must reacquaint herself with the horrors she faced in the war and what new horrors may await her. Rowe’s novel shows us a world in which the AI war has begun and no clear victor has been declared.
“January Fifteenth,” by Rachel Swirsky, is the date when U.S. citizens receive their UBI. UBI stands for universal basic income, a set amount of money that will ideally cover a person’s basic needs for the year. For some of the characters in Swirsky’s work, this is their only means of survival. For others, it is money to be wasted in ever increasingly eccentric ways. And for certain groups, it is a way for the government to control its citizens. Following these characters throughout the day, the novel explores the nature of government assistance programs in order to understand the pitfalls as well as the successes. Swirsky’s speculative work shows that no matter the time, humanity is complex and there are no easy solutions to its problems.
Explore these books and more the next time you visit the Library.