Reviewer Dr. Wesley Britton: Dr. Britton is the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in literature and the media. Starting in fall 2015, his new six-book science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted via BearManor Media. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents where he contributed interviews with a host of entertainment insiders. Before his retirement in 2016, Dr. Britton taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College. Learn more about Dr. Britton at his WEBSITE
Author: Jordan PhillipsPublication Date: January 8, 2018
It seems appropriate the last book I reviewed here was Maxwell Rudolf’s dark and grim The Arkhe Principle: A Post-Apocalyptic Technothriller. It was completely at the opposite end of the sci fi futuristic spectrum from the much lighter and brighter Futura: A Novella by Jordan Phillips. That’s by design. Publicity for Futura claims the 90 or so page read “pushes back on alarmist views of technology and artificial intelligence” in the future.
The story is set in the year 2050 in the city of Paris which has become something of a museum to the past on a planet which has largely forgotten history. All other cities have become much more technological and ultra-modern. Humans have little they need or have to do as the “invisibles” do all their work for them. Some “invisibles” are microscopic chips embedded practically everywhere, others power the ubiquitous robots.
The lead character is an American girl named Ruby who has fallen in Love with Paris and its synthesis of technology, love of nature, and foster ship of the arts. In the past, futurists had projected this sort of world would be “disorienting and depressing,” but in the view of Ruby and presumably Phillips, things are actually quite “liberating” where humans have countless and comfortable choices in their lives.
In many ways, Futura is a pleasant exercise in descriptive world-building as there isn’t much of a story. We see Ruby remembering the past relationship that brought her to Paris, her interactions with two friends, and her internal debate over whether or not she wants to get naturally pregnant. That’s the only conflict in the story with a rather, well, pleasant resolution.