Everything Belongs to the Future: a tale of pharmadystopian, immortal gerontocrats


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/18/everything-belongs-to-the-futu.html

Laurie Penny’s first science fiction book, <a href=“http://amzn.to/29SkkOr”">Everything Belongs to the Future, is available to the public as of today: if you’ve followed her work, you’re probably expecting something scathing, feminist, woke, and smart as hell, and you won’t be disappointed – but you’re going to get a lot more, besides.


#2

Sounds really good, thanks @doctorow. I greatly enjoyed Sterling’s Holy Fire, which addresses similar gerontocracy themes.


#3

It’s a great book, reading it now! The whole immortal sub-population thing reminds me of the Altered Carbon series.

Quick nitpick:

from the rich students and dons of Cambridge University and hand them out for free

should be Oxford. Cambridge is underwater in the story.


#4

Curious about the term ‘woke’. (Not interested in Googling it, thanks :santa:, would prefer to hear what folks here have to say). It seems to mean ‘politically conscious’? Grateful for any information on the origin, meaning, and use of this term. (I don’t know why but I automatically sourced it as a BLM concept, please correct me). Also, the author sounds interesting, will look into her, thanks.


#5

A similar theme appears in the 1955 novel Gladiator-at-Law.
https://www.amazon.com/Gladiator-at-Law-Ballantine-No-Frederik-Pohl/dp/B0000BOIGP/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1476793240&sr=1-2&keywords=Gladiator-At-Law
Spoiler, just in case you missed it in the last 61 years: The secretive firm of Green, Charlesworth is controlled by two rich immortals.

Jonathan Swift saw it coming. His immortal “struldbrugs” in Gulliver’s Travels were forbidden to own property and were basically considered dead after the age of 80. As Swift put it:

“Otherwise, as avarice is the necessary consequence of old age, those
immortals would in time become proprietors of the whole nation, and
engross the civil power, which, for want of abilities to manage, must
end in the ruin of the public.”


#6

Righto!


#7

@doctorow

I’m pretty sure $100/day = $36500/annum

(Closer to $40K than $400K)

But I’ve had only one coffee, so somebody check my math!


#8

Sounds fascinating!

The premise sounds like something Bacigalupi might have written. Will investigate!


#9

From the 50’s but still good: Robert Sheckley’s Immortality Inc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immortality,_Inc.


#10

$36,525/annum :wink:

Which is pretty cheap if you figure inflation averages 2% for the next 84 years. That’s less than $7000/yr in today’s dollars.


#11

Sheckley is SF’s Beatles - he did SO MUCH first, and he did it best.

BTW Your link is broken, it appears to be missing the final dot/period. This one works

Edited to fix link, ironically!


#12

Hmm. It seems to be suffering from the same thing as my one was: the little circle saying how many times it has been clicked seems to jump in before the period.


#13

$36,524.25/annum.
When you’re living multiple centuries, you need to account for every penny.


#14

So, I just finished it. It’s a beautiful little story, twisted and brave and it probably broke my heart. Any opinions? I really don’t know what to think. Am I meant to sympathise with the activists? Alex? The elites? Or no one at all, and embrace nihilism?


#15

As a physician, $100/day for meds that keep you alive forever is rather inexpensive. Most of the medicines that we prescribe for psoriasis currently cost more than that.

Also, see Bruce Sterlings book Holy Fire. Also the same subject matter as this novel.


#16

This is a $3 ebook for those with Kindles (at least in Amerika).


#17

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