Read my review of Sarah’s previous book – A Song For a New Day
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, Julie feels mounting pressure at work to get a Pilot to keep pace with her colleagues, leaving Val and Sophie part of the shrinking minority of people without the device.
Before long, the implications are clear, for the family and society: get a Pilot or get left behind. With government subsidies and no downside, why would anyone refuse? And how do you stop a technology
once it’s everywhere? Those are the questions Sophie and her anti-Pilot movement rise up to answer, even if it puts them up against the Pilot’s powerful manufacturer and pits Sophie against the people she loves most.
Sarah Pinsker is a singer, songwriter and author. Her short stories have won the Nebula, Sturgeon and Philip K. Dick Awards. Currently finishing her second novel and fourth album, she lives with her wife in Baltimore, Maryland.
My thoughts: I don’t really fancy this version of the future, with weird little computers inserted in people’s brains, supposedly to make them better, more efficient, but not necessarily smarter. It just seems creepy and considering what we know about tech companies, they’re definitely harvesting your thoughts and selling them.
Luckily there are people fighting back, refusing to allow these modifications, or who aren’t eligible and ask questions. People like Sophie and Gabe, like Val. And then there’s those who bought into it and changed their minds – like David. I felt bad for David, there was something wrong and nobody would listen.
This was intelligent, engaging and thoughtful. I was fully invested in the plot and the characters, I would certainly have a lot of questions too, were I ever in this sort of situation. I remember when there was things like mobile phones as implants mooted, which seemed a bit weird, would you really want a corporation with that much access to your every action? This book feels very timely and astute, as technology increasingly encroaches on every aspect of our lives.