Universal Love – Alexander Weinstein

Happy Friday! Once again, catching up on some reviews after a hectic week, but there have been some great books recently and I’m excited to share them

Thanks to Picador Books for the free copy in exchange for my honest review

UNIVERSAL LOVE – Alexander Weinstein (Released January 12th, 2021)

Book Description:

A hypnotic collection of speculative fiction about compassion, love, and human resilience in the technological hyper-age, from Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of the New World.

Universal Love welcomes readers to a near-future world where our everyday technologies have fundamentally altered the possibilities and limits of how we love one another. In these gripping stories, a young boy tries to understand what keeps his father tethered to the drowned city they call home. A daughter gets to know her dead mother’s hologram better than she ever knew her living mother. And, at a time when unpleasant memories can be erased, a man undergoes electronic surgery to have his depression, and his past, forever removed.

In an age when technology offers the easiest cures for loneliness, the characters within these stories must wrestle with what it means to stay human in an increasingly cybernetic future, and how love can endure even the most alluring upgrades.

In the vein of Weinstein’s critically-acclaimed first collection, Universal Love is a visionary book, written with one foot in the real world and one stepping bravely into the future.

My Thoughts: 4/5 stars

A new short story collection is here and I’d say that they run in the vein of science fiction meets contemporary fiction. UNIVERSAL LOVE covers the topic of technology and how we love and interact with one another. With technology advancing the way it is, a lot of these stories feel so plausible and it’s almost eerie how close we are to this point.

As is the case for most short story collections, there were some standouts and some that weren’t for me, but overall I enjoyed the majority of them. One I particularly liked was the first story about the Nostalgia App. If you could bring a person back to life in the form of a holograph for someone you love, would you? If some of their memories would hurt that person, would you suppress them? There are so many questions and possibilities with this technology and I wonder how it would actually play out if it was possible.

While most of the stories raised questions like this but a couple came off a little on the preachy side. I understand the message the author is trying to convey when it comes to the potential consequences of these technologies and how they can actually be hindering true human interaction, but some could have been expressed a little better. Overall, if this topic interests you, then I highly recommend giving this collection a try! Definitely a topic that makes you think – is this the possible future that relationships will be going through?

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