Finalist for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2022
"These deceptively simple tales... reveal how magical technology does people absolutely no good whatsoever... superb." —The Times, Science Fiction Book of the Month
"Superbly unsettling... each story sheds light on a different moral angle of the book's world, and of ours... Smart, subtle and blissfully ignorant jargon-free sci-fi from one of Britain's most acclaimed poets" —Daily Telegraph, Summer Reads of 2022
"A serious-minded examination of the instinctive human ambivalence towards innovation." —Financial Times, Summer Reads of 2022
"[With] poetic precision... Appliance most succeeds is in its little riot of the real in the face of digital abstraction." —Times Literary Supplement
A highly inventive and and humane novel about our relationship with technology and our addiction to innovation.
This is the prototype. The first step to a new future.
A future that will be easy and abundant. A future in which distance is no longer a barrier to human contact. And all it takes is a simple transport unit, in every home, every street, every town. Quick. Clean. Easy. A future driven by data, not emotion.
And so begins the journey of a new technology that will soon change the world and everyone in it - the sceptics and the converts, the innocents and the evangelists. A scientific wonder that quickly becomes an everyday aspect of life.
But what of our inherent messiness? In a world preoccupied with progress, what will happen to the things that make us human: the memories, the fears, the love, the blood, the contradictions, the mortality? As we push for a sense of perfection, what do we stand to lose?
Questioning, innovative and shot through with a rich humanity, Appliance is much more than a novel. It examines our faith in technology, our hunger for new things and the rapid changes affecting all our lives. It challenges us to stop and reflect on the future we want, the systems we trust, and what really matters to us.