"Part prophetic dystopian page-turner, part romance, this wildly entertaining novel sees a few billionaires go to destructive extremes as they prep for surviving the end of the world."
Exploring where the world could well be headed in terms of tech, climate change, and the power the wealthy few have over the poorer, powerless many, Naomi Alderman’s The Future is incredibly smart, incredibly suspenseful, and incredibly entertaining.
Set in a near-future world, The Future is largely centred on a few billionaires who hold all the cards (i.e. money and power) when it comes to technology and having the resources to potentially survive the end of the world. In this world, it’s less a case of survival of the fittest, and more about survival of the richest … maybe.
Among the three billionaires in question are Lenk, “a powerful man who had built his career on the future” aided by his executive assistant, Martha, daughter of a cult religious survivalist leader.
Sparks fly when Martha meets Lai Zhen, a “semi-celebrity in her little survivalist corner of the online multiverse”. As Lai Zhen realises the billionaires might be preparing for the imminent end of the world, there’s a domino effect of global disasters, just as she and Martha independently realise they might have succumbed to that weird thing called love: “There is a thing in human life that can never be predicted or controlled. It is dangerous and terrifying; it destroys your life and fucks up your plans.”
Sharp and audacious, The Future is a thrilling, thought-provoking wild ride of a read, with the suspenseful story peppered with posts from survivalist forums. Add to that a shivery sense of conspiracy, and a killer question at its core (“The question is whether there might be one good man in Sodom”) and The Future amounts to an exhilarating triumph.