Novel

We Are Satellites

Sci-fi novelist Sarah Pinsker's new book deals with the ways technology shapes how we conceive of the inner self.

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On the surface, sci-fi novelist Sarah Pinsker's sophomore effort is about how new technologies disrupt, improve, and challenge our relationships with family, coworkers, and schoolmates. But it's really about how technology shapes who we are as individuals—not merely changing how we interact with the world around us but also how we conceive of the inner self.

If that sounds like a lot, don't worry. We Are Satellites is grounded in the revolving perspectives of Pinsker's four main characters—a lesbian couple and their two children—living in a not-too-distant future where Pilots, small neurological implants that allow users to become hypercompetent multitaskers, are widely adopted. The son and one of his mothers get the implant. The other mom and daughter have ideological and medical reasons for refusing to do so.

Like Pinsker's first novel (A Song for a New Day) and many of her excellent short stories, We Are Satellites works because it world-builds from the inside out. Technology can do a lot of things, but it can't change the fact that we're all alone inside our own heads.

NEXT: Brickbat: Borrowed Time

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  1. I was worried her new hit wouldnt be inclusive. Silly me.

    Fuck joe biden. And sullum too.

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  2. Of course the couple had to be lesbian. With children.
    There is a real world out there. Go into it and experience.

    1. I tried reading a so-called science fiction short story the other day, so full of made-up pronouns that I couldn’t tell which characters were being referenced. Gave up after a page or two.

      I like science fiction which doesn’t explain the tech and leaves it to me to deduce it while reading, much as if someone in 1800 were reading a story with cars and computers and was initially confused as heck. But when the language itself is just made-up literal nonsense, sorry, my brain has better things to do.

      1. This is unfortunately where scifi writing has gone (look at who is winning the awards). It’s mostly garbage now.

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  3. Sounds like a good candidate for the Gitmo Book of the Month Club.

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