A Place so Foreign

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Wunderkind Cory Doctrow continues to display his orientation skills at the intersection of Humanity and Technology with the collection of short stories A Place So Foreign and 8 More. In the collection's titular tale, "A Place So Foreign," a 19th-century boy travels with his father, the Ambassador to 1975. But when Pa meets with an accident, young James becomes a living anachronism in 1898. Doctrow twists the time travel tale into a parable of data mining, as mysterious forces work to plunder the past for corporate gain. In one of several stories about a mysterious alien race who offers to give Earthers a hand up, he documents the adolescent rage of those left behind when the "mothaship" takes the anointed few into the brave new world. Finally, in "0wnz0red", Doctrow explores the dark side of Silicon Valley's connection to the military industrial complex by posing the question: What happens when hackers learn to hack the human body? Doctrow is a new breed in an increasingly literate and valid subgenre of science fiction. He uses the traditional allegories of the form to explore more human and fragile connections. As the 21st century rockets ahead, he examines the consequences of our frenzy to embrace technology and predicts outcomes that are both charmingly optimistic and bleakly hollow. --Jeremy Pugh
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