The Warrior Within: a tight science fiction novella about a warrior who contains multitudes

We've featured Angus McIntyre's short fiction here before (see 2015's Someone to Watch Over Me), and now I'm delighted to recommend his debut between covers: a novella called The Warrior Within.

Neither Huxleyed, nor Orwelled: living in the Phildickian dystopia

Political scientist and sf fan Henry Farrell (previously) argues persuasively that the dystopian elements of our everyday life are best viewed through the lens of Philip K Dick (whose books repeatedly depicted a world of constructed realities, whose true nature was obscured by totalitarians, conspiracies, and broken computers) and not Orwell or Huxley, whose computers and systems worked altogether too well to be good parallels for today's janky dystopia. Read the rest

An excerpt from Tropic of Kansas, a novel about a Trumpian, dystopian America

On, an excerpt from Christopher Brown's forthcoming debut novel Tropic of Kansas, an outstanding and well-timed thriller about a corporate-presidency dystopia (you may recall it from Brown's essay in March). Read the rest

Remembering the original, Harold Pinter screen adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale

Zachary Smith writes, "Almost 30 years before Hulu's take on Margaret Atwood's feminist classic, a less-successful adaptation was filmed in Durham, NC. Here's a well-researched look at the making of that film, and its strange parallels to the community." Read the rest

McDonald's new employee uniforms look like Logan's Run

Good catch by Gizmodo's Matt Novak.

Matt doesn't care for the new uniforms ("mandatory gray-on-gray with a dash of black is pretty much universally recognized as the standard uniform for bleakest of futures"), but I want to replace my current wardrobe with them. Read the rest

How optimistic disaster stories can save us from dystopia

I've got an editorial in this month's Wired magazine about the relationship between the science fiction stories we read and our real-world responses to disasters: Disasters Don’t Have to End in Dystopias; it's occasioned by the upcoming publication of my "optimistic disaster novel" Walkaway (pre-order signed copies: US/UK; read excerpts: Chapter 1, Chapter 2; US/Canada tour schedule). Read the rest

The 2017 Ikea Catalog considered as dystopian urban microapartment futurism

The new Ikea Catalog is making a big bet on very small living spaces -- the kind of place that costs more than half your monthly salary but is too small for a dinner-table, let alone a separate room for your kids, who are supposed to sleep in a bunk-bed in the living room ("Why would a child on the verge of pubescence need privacy anyway?"). Read the rest