Susan Greenfield - 2121 (2 stars)

Susan Greenfield - 2121

Renowned science writer publishes first fiction novel on mankind's dependency on technology

(Head of Zeus)

In renowned science writer Susan Greenfield’s first foray into fiction, she has created a dystopian world where the technology we rely upon today has left us too dependent on it. Mankind has become divided into the functional NPs (Neo-Puritans) and Others, whose decadence is ideologically opposed by the NPs. With a mission to study the minds of these Others, the loyal and intelligent Fred becomes embroiled with Zelda and her child Sim - though mother and daughter in the tradition sense they are not. And there we have our plot.

The world Greenfield creates is not given much chance to breathe on its own though, with her determination to explain every nuance of her construction choking the story’s flow. Likewise, the exposition of the opening chapters hampers the pace. It reads like a science writer tackling fiction, which is a pity, for 2121 raises intriguing questions on where mankind’s relationship with technology will take us, and as the novel builds toward an increasingly sinister conclusion, the fragility of existence and mankind’s destructive tendencies come to play their parts with devastating results.

Interfaces: Mind Change in the 21st Century

British scientist, writer and broadcaster Susan Greenfield asks us to consider how technologies may be changing the human brain, both for good and for bad. Chaired by Alison Elliot, Convenor of the Church of Scotland Guild. Speech-to-Text Reported event.

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