David already posted about the amazing TBD Catalog, which is filled with "design fiction" about the devices of the future; but I just read it and I need to rave about it.
What makes TBD so great is the incredibly layered and witty way that it comments on the hot technological questions of today by imagining a hype-ish, Skymall-esque catalog to sell them. Every bit of the book is brilliant -- not just the gadgets, but the ad copy (some of which feels like it was machine-generated or -translated), the spreads where all the art is glitched, or replaced with infringement notices stating the art isn't available in your region, to the delicious, delicious fine-print, each line of which is a cautionary tale about the problems, crises, opportunities and disruption that will attend a world where drones walk the dog and everyfuckingthing is crowdsourced.
TBD genuinely feels like an artifact from a semi-dystopian, utterly plausible, terribly absurd future. It's Terry Gilliam's Brazil by way of the home shopping network, with a dash of Ghosts With Shit Jobs thrown in for good measure. It's one of the best science fiction books of the year, and it doesn't have a plot, or characters.
This isn't just a brilliant antidote to banal futurists' forecasts -- it's also the most magnificent toilet-side reader since Randall Munroe's What If. It's $23, and worth every penny.
Samuel R "Chip" Delany is a science fiction pioneer: a brilliant literary stylist with dazzling ideas who was one of the field's first openly queer writers, and one of the first Black writers accepted into the field. He is one of the fathers of afrofuturism.
The 2019 World Science Fiction Convention is being held in Dublin, and tonight, the con presented the annual Hugo Awards, voted on by the attendees and supporters of this year's con.
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