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The Books Briefing: Forecasting Reality

📚 “The Conspiracy Museum,” by Robin Sloan


Science fiction’s preoccupation with privacy

Dark Constellations is a slim allegory written with a chat forum’s acrid wit, while The Old Drift is a sprawling epic that unfolds with the wild detail of a Hieronymus Bosch painting … The novels share a provocative core idea: that colonialism was a massive invasion of privacy, and that technology is on track to rival it.”

📚 Dark Constellations, by Pola Oloixarac

📚 The Old Drift, by Namwali Serpell


The novel that asks, ‘What went wrong with mankind?’

“In [Richard Powers’s] tree-mad novel … trees speak, sing, experience pain, dream, remember the past, and predict the future. The past and the future, it turns out, are mirror images of each other. Neither contains people.”

📚 The Overstory, by Richard Powers


The remarkable rise of the feminist dystopia

“Writers including [Louise] Erdrich, Leni Zumas, and Bina Shah are warning readers of what could happen in a near-future world, with sperm counts mysteriously plummeting, global temperatures and STD rates rising, and a pivotal anti-abortion vote poised to tip the balance of the Supreme Court. Dystopian fiction isn’t soothing anymore. It’s too close for comfort.”

📚 Future Home of the Living God, by Louise Erdrich

📚 The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

📚 Before She Sleeps, by Bina Sha

📚 Red Clocks, by Leni Zumas


The peculiar blindness of experts

“Reliable insight into the future is possible … It just requires a style of thinking that’s uncommon among experts who are certain that their deep knowledge has granted them a special grasp of what is to come.”

📚 Range, by David Epstein


About us: This week’s newsletter is written by Myles Poydras. The book he’s reading next is Known and Strange Things, by Teju Cole.


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