Landscape With Invisible Hand

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Landscape With Invisible Hand

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Candlewick 2017

M.T. Anderson at his finest. The two young lovers stare deeply into each other's eyes and profess their love for each other in a setting perfect for romance especially if it's the 1950s or stretch that into the 60s. The eyes of the world are upon them and they are doing their part to create the illusion of an Earthly romance from earlier times. You would do it too if you had the chance to make some money for your family in a time when everything has become scarce except servitude to the vuvv in every possible form.

Yes, the aliens have landed. No, they didn't declare war on the Earthlings. Instead they brought promises of eradicating disease and sharing their well-advanced technologies. They delivered on those promises. The unseen and unexpected revolution that this benign goodness created was a world where human beings ceased to have purpose or even perhaps value. Robots, machines can do just about everything. That leaves few jobs for breadwinners. That leaves little self-worth for breadwinners. That leaves a world where a job serving soup has a line of applicants a mile long, armed with their Master's degrees and resumes and willing to slam each other against the wall in desperation and rage as the fear of being increasingly diminished takes over.

So, when Adam finds that he and his girlfriend, Chloe, can make money entertaining the vuvv by sharing their passionate teenage romance with the big screens, he jumps at the chance. Months have passed and Adam and Chloe can't stand the sight of each other but they continue the illusion as best they can hoping the vuvv won't figure out that love has walked away.

Adam's new hopes for purpose and self-esteem are now rising in his other passion, art. Can he turn to his true talents for recognition and remuneration from the vuvv?

As in Feed, M.T. Anderson tears open the veil that the voices of technology have woven over our futures. He gives us a clearer view a few chess moves down the board of what our lives can become if we delegate the majority of human endeavors to the world of machines. Interestingly in a study done in 2015 M.I.T. discovered "powerful new technologies are increasingly adopted not only in manufacturing, clerical, and retail work but in professions such as law, financial services, education, and medicine." Perhaps the future has arrived.

Brilliant, controversial, necessary and hopefully sparking a revolution whose time is now.

160 pages   978-0763687892   Ages 13 and up

Recommended by: Barb Langridge,

*********** National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson returns to future Earth in a sharply wrought satire of art and truth in the midst of colonization.

When the vuvv first landed, it came as a surprise to aspiring artist Adam and the rest of planet Earth — but not necessarily an unwelcome one. Can it really be called an invasion when the vuvv generously offered free advanced technology and cures for every illness imaginable? As it turns out, yes. With his parents’ jobs replaced by alien tech and no money for food, clean water, or the vuvv’s miraculous medicine, Adam and his girlfriend, Chloe, have to get creative to survive. And since the vuvv crave anything they deem "classic" Earth culture (doo-wop music, still-life paintings of fruit, true love), recording 1950s-style dates for the vuvv to watch in a pay-per-minute format seems like a brilliant idea. But it’s hard for Adam and Chloe to sell true love when they hate each other more with every passing episode. Soon enough, Adam must decide how far he’s willing to go — and what he’s willing to sacrifice — to give the vuvv what they want.--from the publisher

160 pages   978-0763687892   Ages 13 and up

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