By Zoë Robertson with Jesse Lifé
Science fiction often takes a monitory bent, and given current global trends you don’t need much of a crystal ball to predict the form that looming dystopias will take. Aside from the effects of climate change perhaps the most popular theme being worked by SF authors today is that of social and economic inequality: imagining a coming world that is divided between a wealthy elite and the rest of teeming humanity.
Insatiable Machine is a remarkably lush depiction of such a near future. The U.S. government is controlled by a handful of global corporations and the economy has evolved to a point where the deplorable masses that huddle in suburban shantytowns no longer serve any function. A final solution awaits. All that stands in the way is a family with a very useful collection of skills.
Zoë Robertson packs a lot of detail into her vision of the future, describing a wide range of domestic and industrial machines that actually work and a broad cast of characters drawn from walks of life high and low. Think Tom Wolfe, but more speculative and tilting to the left. With plenty of action, politics, and high tech, Insatiable Machine is a visionary treat.