Five Books to Read This Autumn

Take a great leap forward with stories that capture the spirit of tomorrow.

Published in S/ magazine, Fall 2015. Read it here.

The Heart Goes Last: A Novel by Margaret Atwood (McClelland & Stewart)

In a story that takes place after an economic collapse, a hyper-managed social system is implemented in a community to regulate the living situations and employment of its citizens. Margaret Atwood offers an eerie view of a dark, but seemingly possible future. Surveillance, sex robots and 3D printing all make an appearance in the iconic Canadian writer’s latest full-length novel.

Gold Fame Citrus: A Novel by Claire Vaye Watkins (Riverhead Books)

Award-winning short story writer Claire Vaye Watkins’ first novel propels readers into a calamitous near-future in which an unabating drought has left Southern California in ruins. A love affair blossoms between two people who are struggling for survival and who refuse to be tossed into internment camps. Watkins’ novel is at once uneasy, dreamlike and acutely thought provoking.

Expanding Universe. Photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope by Owen Edwards, Zoltan Levay, Charles F. Bolden, Jr., John Mace Grunsfeld (Taschen)

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Telescope’s launch into low Earth orbit, a glossy hardcover tome brimming with stunning photographs captures beautiful imagery of a vast, mysterious and always-expanding universe. Photography critic Owen Edwards offers insight into the images’ composition, while astronauts Charles F. Bolden, Jr. and John Mace Grunsfeld reflect on the legacy of Hubble’s exploration.

Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Finkand and Jeffrey Cranor (Harper Perennial)

Welcome to Night Vale originated as a podcast that delivers news updates on the strange and surreal happenings in a fictitious town where conspiracy theories are real and ghosts and aliens make regular visits. Now, the podcast’s co-creators have written a book that welcomes readers to live in the delightfully bizarre world of Night Vale.

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie (Knopf Canada)

Our descendants 1,000 years in the future are the narrators of Salman Rushdie’s newest novel. Rushdie weaves together folklore (if you do the math, you’ll count 1,001 nights in the novel’s title), philosophy and history with a modern apocalyptic theme, in this bewitching book.