Everything Belongs to the Future

Everything Belongs to the Future is another striking entry in an impeccably edited series of novellas published by the popular science fiction and fantasy website Tor.com. Laurie Penny's book is a miniature dystopian nightmare, conveying the sweeping horrors of a 700-page epic in a story that can be read in a single sitting.

On the surface, Everything Belongs to the Future has a simple premise not unfamiliar to science fiction readers: in the late-21st century, an anti-aging drug referred to as "the fix" has the capability artificially to extend life spans and allow users to remain young forever. Naturally, the rich hoard it for themselves, creating an oligarchy that throws lavish parties and ignores the hungry, aging lower classes. The novella is brash, topical and furious, exploring the full sociopolitical consequences of its premise and never allowing the reader to forget how tragically similar its imagined scenario is to our current unequal era: "Time is a weapon wielded by the rich, who have excess of it, against the rest, who must trade every breath of it against the promise of another day's food and shelter."

Everything Belongs to the Future centers on a small group of friends and activists determined to bring down the ruling class. Penny challenges genre conventions, introducing a double-agent protagonist who falls in love with one of the women he's spying on and undercuts his self-justifying morality at every turn, raising troubling questions about consent. The novella is a fierce, punkish read and a missile aimed at privilege in all of its forms. --Hank Stephenson, bookseller, Flyleaf Books

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