Given the current state of the world, speculation. Over the years, Gizmodo has shared a diverse variety of book excerpts and short stories exploring dystopian futures and altered realities. Here are eight worth revisiting now.
In this excerpt from Blake Crouch‘s Recursion, a police detective has his first encounter with a person suffering from â€œFalse Memory Syndromeâ€”a mysterious and devastating affliction that sees its victims haunted by incredibly real memories of lives that never existed.
Chuck Wendig‘s Wanderers imagines another unusual epidemic, a phenomenon almost like sleepwalking except it has affected masses of people, all of whom begin walking toward an unknown destination. In this piece from early in the book, a scientist learns that an â€œoutbreakâ€ has been predicted by a sophisticated AI designed to make such forecasts”and that he’s been specifically requested by said AI to join the response team.
In This Excerpt From Chuck Wendig's New Sci-Fi Thriller, Wanderers, A Scientist Begins To Realise The World's In Deep Trouble
Chuck Wendig is a name you'll recognise if you're a fan of Star Wars novels (or follow the ins and outs of Star Wars comics). But he also does plenty of work beyond the galaxy far, far, away - including his epic new sci-fi thriller, Wanderers, which is coming to shelves this week. io9 has a very intriguing excerpt to share with you today.Read more
This excerpt from Jayinee Basu’s novella The City of Folding Faces introduces us to the Roulette, gaming technology that requires the user to upload his or her consciousness in order to expand it beyond normal human capabilities. It’s an exhilarating but ultimately confusing experience, as we see in this vignette featuring Mara, the young woman at the centre of the story.
Users Permanently Alter Their Minds Inside A Network In An Excerpt From Jayinee Basu's The City Of Folding Faces
Mara is very different now, after digitising and uploading herself as a â€œspace-time tubeformâ€ into the network of the Roulette. There's even a word for people like her in the universe of Jayinee Basu's 2019 sci-fi novella The City of Folding Faces.</p> <p>They're called "Ruga", a hyperperson who has absorbed so much information in the Roulette that only another Ruga can truly understand them.Read more
Terry Brooks is probably best-known for his Shannara novels, but in 2018 he released Street Freaks, a sci-fi thriller about a kid who must go on the run in futuristic Los Angeles, a place filled with killer robots and quite a few not-very-nice humans, too. You can read the first chapter below.
Terry Brooks is best-known for writing the epic fantasy series that kicked off with The Sword of Shannara back in 1977. But the author ventures far beyond that realm for a new sci-fi thriller, Street Freaks, coming this spring - and we have an exclusive reveal of its incredibly fast-paced first chapter.Read more
The multitalented Warren Ellis released techno-thriller Normal in 2016; it follows a â€œforesight strategistâ€ who suffers a not-uncommon side effect of his job: a mental breakdown after spending too much time pondering humanity’s doomed future. This excerpt offers us a glimpse at his intake interview.
Think long enough about the future, where humanity is almost certainly doomed, and you might start going insane with despair. But what happens when your entire job is preparing for that future? In the latest techno-thriller novel by Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Planetary, Red, Nextwave) you go to the one place that can help: Normal.Read more
Laurie Penny‘s 2016 novella takes place in a world where only the elite have access to a drug that allows humans to live for hundreds of years. In this piece, a quartet of have-nots infiltrate a ritzy party looking for â€œthe fixâ€”and they have a surprising encounter with its perpetually adolescent inventor.
In Laurie Penny's new novella, Everything Belongs to the Future, a miracle drug can extend the human lifespan by centuries -- but only the rich can afford the treatments. It's a science fiction thriller that feels like an only slightly tilted version of our own reality, and we have an exclusive excerpt to share.Read more
This post actually contains two short stories: â€œRounding Correctionsâ€ by Sandra Haynes, and â€œThe Floorâ€ by Melissa Fall, both standout entries in a sci-fi short story contest that asked writers to â€œenvision a world with financial security through unconditional cash.â€
What might life be like in a future where every citizen was guaranteed a universal basic income? Two very good short stories imagine the sociological and cultural changes that might happen, in poignant and chilling ways. One of them was good enough to earn a sizable cash prize and you can read it now.Read more
Finally, Gizmodo’s own Hudson Hongo penned â€œTerminal Blues,â€ a short story about a lonely worker posted in an isolated, frozen corner of the world. Things are bad, and then things…get worse.
I hear the little ski plane sliding down outside and I put on all my shirts and three pairs of pants to shield myself from the cold. I have one arm in my coat when already the pilot is banging on the door, eager to drop off the stuff and get flying. Sometimes I pull the door latch and it's bright outside. Other times it's dark. This time it's raw light in every direction, like the pilot stepped out of a flash bulb. No matter how hard I squint, I can't see his face, just the goggles, the fuzzy hat, and the smile that makes me think of cracked ice.Read more