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February 13, 2021

The Future is Yours by Dan Frey ~ a Review

by MK French

Ben Boyce and Adhi Chaudry have a device able to connect to the internet a year from now, and its predictions are accurate. They build a startup company to provide this information to the world, becoming the darlings of Silicon Valley for the first time. But the future isn't all it's cracked up to be and might include the apocalypse.

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The Future is Yours
February 2021; Del Ray; 978-0593158210
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); technothriller
The Future is Yours
by Dan Frey is an epistolary novel, told as a series of e-mails, blog posts, and texts. Ben is the face of the company, as Adhi has social anxiety and might be on the spectrum. He's more invested in the science of quantum computing, while Ben is eager to prove that he can be a successful black man in Silicon Valley. With emails, text messages, blog posts, and transcripts from the Senate Committee hearing, we see the ethical concerns of the prototype, and how the information could be misused. 

About a third of the way through the novel, we find out that the computer can only go a year forward. It can't go past that point, and any results found can't be changed. The possible explanations they come up with are errors in the prototype, which they throw out, the internet collapsing, which they also throw out, and a catastrophe so huge that the end of the world came. I find that such a drastic guess, and it certainly would not be what I think of in a case like that.  It's dramatic and out of left field, but I'm still along for the ride.

There's such personality shining through the transcript excerpts, posts, and texts. There's more and more stress placed on Ben and Adhi, and they respond in the ways that they used to: Ben blusters forward and Adhi retreats. This leads to several surprises along the way, so that it didn't go where I expected it to. I found this to be a fun read, trying to imagine the actual events that are alluded to but not really talked about. As with any epistolary novel, that's part of the fun even as there is tension in the style. With the way the novel ends, that's part of the point. It can be discussed by book groups, because it's vague enough to make people interpret it in different ways and to address the ethical concerns raised within the text itself. That's a great sign for a thinky, literary kind of novel. 

Buy The Future is Yours at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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