I have noticed that there is an abundance of novels lately that serve as fictionalized reflections of the anxieties of our current age. These works of “speculative” fiction are less a vision of the future and more of a cautionary tale about potential consequences from our actions (or inactions) today. They employ the “if we don’t fix X, then Y will happen” structure. Works that predict a favorable outcome are rare, especially when the plot depicts decline or stagnation. They often include an everyday hero who foretells a disastrous trajectory and tries to change its course. Speculative fiction is designed to alleviate our stress vicariously through the brave efforts of heroes that resemble ourselves.
For this month’s blog, I wanted to suggest some recent releases that leverage of the fears operating in our world today. Despite being labeled “dystopic” or "doomsday," all the books below offer some glimmer of hope, and demonstrate our resiliency and ingenuity in the face of daunting challenges.
|The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan|
|Recursion by Blake Crouch|
|Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr|
|The Every by Dave Eggers|
|Anthem by Noah Hawley|
|Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro|
|Something New Under the Sun by Alexandra Kleeman|
|Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam|
|The One by John Marrs|
|All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai|
|The Handmaid's Tale (Graphic Novel) based on the original by Margaret Atwood
illustrated by Renee Nault
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
February's Featured Reviews
Hop on the Holds List
- Black Cake - Charmaine Wilkerson
- To Paradise - Hanya Yanagihara
- Olga Dies Dreaming - Xochtil Gonzalez
- Fiona and Jane - Jean Chen Ho
- Notes on an Execution - Danya Kukafka
Right now, I am loving The School for Good Mothers, a debut by Jessamine Chan, and an early copy of The Age of the Strongman by Gideon Rachman (coming out in April 2022). I also just started listening to the audio version of People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd.
What predictions do you make about the next 10 years? Are you a pessimist or an optimist? Let me know: (email@example.com).
Thanks for all your suggestions and feedback, I really enjoy connecting with fellow readers!
Until next time: Be safe, be well and be well-read!
So, who am I, anyway? I am a resident of West Groton, with a husband, 4 teenaged children and a Samoyed puppy-all of whom are systematically destroying our house. I am currently working part time at the Groton Public Library and in a former life I was employed as a Director or PR/Marketing at a high-tech consulting firm. My BA is in Psychology, but most of my time was spent in college earning a Concentration on the Novel. That is all to say that I make no claims at being an expert of any kind and my thoughts, opinions and mistakes are solely my own. I am just a person whose passion for books has continued to grow from the moment I was first able to grip and gnaw on them, and I have been devouring them ever since.
- June 2022 — Unlikely Allies
- May 2022 — True Crime: Stranger Than Fiction copy
- April 2022 — Thanks for the Memories: The Magic of Memoirs
- March 2022 — Historical Fiction: A Peek into the Past copy
- February 2022 — Speculative Fiction: Where Do We Go From Here?
- January 2022 — Myths Reimagined
- December 2021 — Cuddling With Cozy Mysteries
- November 2021 — Is The Book Always Better?
- October 2021—Dreadful Domiciles
- September 2021 — Scholarly Settings