"The Candy House opens with the staggeringly brilliant Bix Bouton, whose company, Mandala, is so successful that he is “one of those tech demi-gods with whom we’re all on a first name basis.” Bix is 40, with four kids, restless, desperate for a new idea, when he stumbles into a conversation group, mostly Columbia professors, one of whom is experimenting with downloading or “externalizing” memory. It’s 2010. Within a decade, Bix’s new technology, “Own Your Unconscious”—that allows you access to every memory you’ve ever had, and to share every memory in exchange for access to the memories of others—has seduced multitudes. But not everyone." [more inside]
Written by Neal Stephenson and published in 1999. Two groups of characters, one from the late thirties and forties and one in the then present-day ~1999 (a few who are descendants of the earlier group) involve themselves with codes, codebreaking, and Axis war gold, among other things. [more inside]
Scarlett's 15th birthday started so normally, a Dodgers game with her dad. 48 hours later she was one of the last people left alive on earth. Reading about a pandemic during a pandemic sure is fun! It's a light, quick read with an ending that I found kind of hopeful and uplifting.
After the bottom falls out of a deal, Joel feels like he has lost everything. Then he meets a former classmate who offers him an investment opportunity in a new company: Empathy, Inc. The company has created tech that allows the user to virtually experience another person's life. [more inside]
A man returns to the site of his childhood home where, years before, he knew a girl named Lettie Hempstock who showed him the most marvelous, dangerous, and outrageous things...
Hugo Award-winning John Scalzi novel set in the near future focuses on Haden's Syndrome, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In." Sufferers are conscious but unable to move. [more inside]
Leaving a dilapidated Earth behind, Quakers across the globe pool funds and resources as they select colonists to send to a newly discovered planet to start life anew in this “miraculous fusion of…science fiction with unsparing realism and keen psychology” (Ursula K. Le Guin).
The Pacific Ocean is a big thing to steal, and Quietly's roommate Imani never does anything small. But then Imani goes and dies, and Quietly is left to travel to the Under-Ath (the underworld beneath Athens, Georgia), with angry gods at her heels, to clean up the mess Imani left behind and try to rescue her friend. [more inside]
Teenage girls everywhere suddenly discover that their bodies can produce a deadly electrical charge. [more inside]