Sunday, 19 January 2014

Technology, Dystopia and Young Adults VII

This list has been updated: a newer, expanded version can be found at
17 February, 2017
My reading continues as new books are published, and over the past few months I have read various new books, but also several sequels to books I've previously listed and touched on some classic science fiction. This is therefore the latest instalment of the related reading I have been doing since my sixth such blog post last July.

As always, this is a collection of primary texts which are connected by the common thread of incorporating technology within their plots, and increasingly being concerned with the nature of humanity in technocentric worlds. For other readers this, and my previous posts, remain a remarkably up-to-date list of YA novels in this genre; my Amazon account still has some yet-to-be-published novels listed in the current orders, I keep scouring publishers' book lists for new additions, and I have more texts sitting awaiting my attention so this is unlikely to be my final reading list post (although I know I am going to have to stop reading soon...)

The order of the list is simply the order in which I have read the texts, and there is therefore no significance to it. I have included a brief descriptions against each title, but each image links to Amazon where fuller descriptions and reviews can be found.

iD - Madeline Ashby (2013)
In the sequel to vN, Javier, a self-replicating humanoid is taken on a quest from Amy’s island, where his actions have devastating consequences for his friend, toward Mecha where he will find either salvation or death.\qq
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card (1977)
The human race faces annihilation from an alien invasion, and to defend humanity the government must create the greatest military commander in history and Ender Wiggin is their last hope, but first he must survive the rigours of a brutal military training programme to prove that he can be the leader of all leaders. A saviour for mankind must be produced, through whatever means possible, but the government maybe creating a hero or a monster.
The Black Cloud - Fred Hoyle (1957)
The classic science fiction tale tracks the progress of a giant black cloud coming towards Earth and sitting in front of the sun, which causes widespread panic and death. A select group of scientists and astronomers engage in a mad race to understand and communicate with the cloud, battling against trigger happy politicians.
Insurgent - Veronica Roth (2012)
In the sequel to Divergent, Tris is consumed by grief and guilt having survived a brutal attack on her former home and family and she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future. However, she has to find a new strength is to uncover the truth about her world as she faces more shocking choices and sacrifices.
Lay Saints Adam Connell (2012)
Calder is able to read minds, but the noise means he avoids people. In New York a gang of black-market telepaths figures out who and what he is. They force him to help them pull off a big-ticket job, swaying the vote of a powerful politician. Another gang is working the other side of this job, and Calder is caught in a game of manipulation and shifting alliances. 
More Than This Patrick Ness (2013)
A boy called Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, but then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving, but alive. He finds himself in what appears to be the  suburban English town where he lived as a child, but the neighbourhood is overgrown, covered in dust and completely abandoned. Seth searches for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, and that it might not be the hell he fears it to be.
Nexus - Ramez Naam (2013)
In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link human minds together. There are some people who want to improve it, some who want to eradicate it and others who want to exploit it. When Kade, a young computer scientist, is caught improving Nexus, he finds himself in a world of danger and international espionage.
Crux - Ramez Naam (2013)
In the sequel to Nexus, six months have passed since the release of Nexus 5 and the world is a different, more dangerous place. Terrorists, or freedom fighters, use Nexus to turn men and women into human time bombs and a government scientist and Nexus addict uncovers the forces behind the assassinations, and finds himself in a maze with no way out: the first blows in the war between human and post-human have been struck.
Snow Crash Neal Stephenson (1992)
The Metaverse is the Internet's successor and provides a cyberspace home to avatars and software daemons, where anything goes. Newly available on the Street is Snow Crash, a cyberdrug; however, Snow Crash is also a computer virus which infects the person behind the avatar. 
The Originals Cat Patrick (2013)
The three teenage sisters grew up as identical triplets until they discovered they’re clones. The Best family appears to consist of a single mother with one daughter named Elizabeth as the sisters share one life between three. When one meets a boy, she realizes that she’s not a carbon copy of her sisters and begins to dismantle the delicate balance of her unusual family that only science could have created.