Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein
Children of the New World is a collection of 13 short stories, each taking place in a different, though future, place and time. I’ll start off by admitting that I’m not usually a fan of short stories. If I’m really enjoying a book, I like to stay with it for a while and really get to know the place and characters. That being said, Weinstein has the ability to set you down in the middle of new territory—a place and time you’ve never been to or imagined—and makes you feel right at home. And all in the space of a few pages!
Most of the stories are told from a first-person point of view in a time where today’s technologies have evolved and merged with humanity. No longer do we need computers; the hardware is now a part of us (Openness; The Pyramid and the Ass); reality and our virtual lives are so intertwined we can no longer tell the difference (The Cartographers); we mourn our robotic children (Saying Goodbye to Yang).
Each of these stories takes today’s technologies and ideologies and moves them into a plausible future. Weinstein examines the pros and cons of these futures, what we gain and what we must give up. All of these stories leave you with food for thought, a few end with moral “punchlines” to chew on. The writing is excellent. I’d recommend this book to the readers of Lavie Tidhar’s Central Station (and vice versa).