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The Month Ahead: Books



Doomsayers, don’t waste your breath on Annalee Newitz. No matter what global calamity befalls us, the author of the new popular-science title Scatter, Adapt, and Remember believes we Homo sapiens will keep on truckin’. But … where will we live? Here, Newitz offers a preview of three possible 22nd-century habitats.

Biological cities: “Urban life in the future could look a lot like jungle life today. In cities made of semi-living materials and powered by sunlight, we’ll grow our food on living roofs and walls and have specially treated algae to filter our air and water. We won’t be killing the mold in our kitchens; we’ll be cultivating it.”

Space colonies: “To escape this deadly rock—what with its tsunamis, earthquakes and megavolcanoes—we’ll decamp to cities on other planets. Robot construction crews will arrive first, of course, so our homes will be move-in ready when our spacecraft land outside New New Mexico on Mars.” MAY 14

Computers: “It’s possible that in 100 years we’ll be able to upload our minds the same way we upload music now. Just leave our bodies behind and exist in a virtual world. And going on vacation? Forget about booking hotels and traveling for hours—just teleport into your favorite videogame.”

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“She stared at the empty space where her bacon had been, and then she stared at the dog, its expression smug, and all the frustrations of her life boiled up in her head. A dog eating her bacon, a dog eating her bacon while she was jobless.” —From Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the critically acclaimed Nigerian author of Purple Hibiscus. MAY 17

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