Cory Doctorow is an editor of the blog <a href="http://boingboing.net/">Boing Boing</a> and an author of fiction including the novels <em>Little Brother</em> and <em>Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom</em>.
Credit Courtesy of Tor Books
Charles Stross is the author of <em>The Atrocity Archives</em>, <em>Rule 34</em> and other novels.
Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 1:03 pm
Cranky technophobe Huw is in a bad way. It's centuries into the future, self-aware technology has formed a "singularity" — a floating superbrain cloud in the upper atmosphere — and his parents have already uploaded to it, leaving their bodies behind. Even household items literally have minds of their own. Huw's only consolation is that he has been summoned to a kind of jury duty, evaluating a new technology the superbrain has suggested, so at least he'll have the satisfaction of saying no if he thinks the new machine is too dangerous to let loose on Earth.
British novelist Zadie Smith is also the author of <em>White Teeth</em>, <em>The Autograph Man</em> and <em>On Beauty. </em>In her latest book, <em>NW</em>, she lays out a problem for readers: Do people get what they deserve?
Writer Zadie Smith burst onto the literary scene with her first novel White Teeth more than a decade ago. Set in the Northwest London neighborhood where she grew up, White Teeth captured the diverse, vibrant rhythms of a city in transition. Smith returns to the neighborhood in her new novel, NW, but this is a sobering homecoming.
On Monday, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told a campaign rally audience in North Carolina that "the president can say a lot of things, but he can't tell you you are better off." Later that day in Detroit, Vice President Joe Biden responded "America is better off today than they left us."
New York Times Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt argues that both Ryan and Biden are right: It's partly semantics.
Zadie Smith wrote her last novel On Beauty seven years ago — a long time in the anxious world of publishing. Her new novel NW was released in the U.S. on Monday. Critic Maureen Corrigan asks: Was it worth the wait?
Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.