BOOK REVIEW: "I Still Dream" Gives Us Hope for the Tech Apocalypse [Preview]

James Smythe's I Still Dream includes plenty of hallmarks of the futuristic sci-tech genre, including too-powerful technology and its devastating consequences, the dangers of human-less algorithmic development, recognizably human hubris and greed, and cataclysmic social consequences on an epic geopolitical scale. Yet at its core, I Still Dream is ultimately and notably not technophobic, and only mildly alarmist.
The blurb on the cover of my advance review copy of I Still Dream promises a blend of Cloud Atlas and Black Mirror. Yet that's selling the novelty of I Still Dream rather short in an attempt at finding quick marketing analogues. While Black Mirror often takes a frightening tone with regards to rapid advances in technology, I Still Dream makes it very clear that it's the humanity (or lack thereof) behind these increasingly powerful devices and systems that makes all the difference. And while the David Mitchell reference isn't far off, it's not Cloud Atlas' palindromic narrative that I Still Dream conjures up, it's Mitchell's more recent effort The Bone Clocks that's a more accurate parallel. Both The Bone Clocks and I Still Dream feature a vast, time-skipping storyline centered on the exploits of a young woman, beginning in the near past and eventually ending at a future that shows the ultimate consequences of human nature and consumption.

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