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‘The Boost’ is a fun and thought-provoking exploration of the long-term effects of the ever-shrinking computer

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Set in 2072, 'The Boost' by Stephen Baker imagines a world in which everyone has a networked computer, called a “boost,” installed in his or her brain. Baker is a gifted futurist whose first stab at fiction is remarkably well written, although his inexperience does show in a few places. But Baker compensates with a fast pace and solid scientific grounding. 'The Boost' is a fun and thought-provoking exploration of the long-term effects of the ever-shrinking computer.

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‘My Real Children’ is a heartwarming, heart-wrenching exploration of feminism and politics

Jo Walton’s My Real Children is difficult to classify. Although it can be read as an alternate history (actually two alternative histories—more on that in a moment), the novel really belongs on the shelf beside the work of “literary” writers like Jonathan Franzen or Alice Munro. The book both warms and wrenches the heart as it explores feminism and gay rights, as well as war and peace. The lives of Pat and Tricia tell us much about the world in which we live and what it means to be part of a family.

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You are invited to the ‘Afterparty’: there’ll be lots of drugs and gods

Good science fiction is not about the future so much as the present, and Afterparty by Daryl Gregory is good science fiction. It amplifies the societal insecurities of today and projects them into tomorrow without losing track of the human element that drives dramatic storytelling. With elements of a good mystery, Afterparty is full of twists and turns and red herrings on the way to an unexpected and satisfying resolution.

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