The Future We Left Behind

The Future We Left Behind

3.7 4
by Mike A. Lancaster
     
 

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Thousands of years in the future, the divide between humanity and technology has become nearly unrecognizable. Each thought, each action is logged, coded, backed up. Data is as easily exchanged through the fiber-optic-like cables that extend from fingertips as it might be through ordinary conversation. It's a brave new world: A world that the Straker Tapes say is a… See more details below

Overview

Thousands of years in the future, the divide between humanity and technology has become nearly unrecognizable. Each thought, each action is logged, coded, backed up. Data is as easily exchanged through the fiber-optic-like cables that extend from fingertips as it might be through ordinary conversation. It's a brave new world: A world that the Straker Tapes say is a result of many human "upgrades." But no one is sure whether the Straker Tapes are a work of fiction or an eerie peek into an unimaginable past.

Nearly sixteen-year-old Peter Vincent has been raised to believe that everything that the backward Strakerites cling to is insane—an utter waste of time and potential. Since his father is David Vincent, genius inventor of the artificial bees that saved the world's crops and prevented massive famine, how could Peter believe anything else? But when Peter meets Alpha, a Strakerite his own age, suddenly the theories about society-upgrades don't sound quite so crazy, especially when she shows him evidence that another upgrade is imminent. And worse, there may be a conspiracy by the leaders of the establishment to cover it up. A conspiracy spearheaded by Peter's own father.

Gripping and full of unexpected twists, The Future We Left Behind takes the unsettling questions raised in Human.4 and flips them entirely. What if we knew that the very way we live was about to be changed in an instant, and we could stop it? And what if everything we are sure we know is entirely wrong?

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—In Peter Vincent's world, well into the future, the Link keeps people constantly connected, via their own minds. Need to contact someone? Think about it. Need to find out information? Scan the Link in your mind. Humans now have filaments that emerge when needed, to transfer information and perform other services. Lancaster has imagined an interesting futuristic environment: clothing created every morning from templates, invisible elevators, seating that works by supporting the body with high-pressure air. People no longer need to remember anything, as memories go straight to the Link and can be accessed from there. But exactly what is the Link and is it as benign as it seems? The story is told primarily as if it were being downloaded from 16-year-old Peter's scraps of memory, absorbed and then forgotten deep within the WorldBrain. Peter and a classmate Amalfi (also known as Alpha) become deeply involved in the mystery behind the Strakerites, who believe that Kyle Straker's ancient tape recording of an alien "upgrade" jumped most humans vastly ahead in technology and brain function, while leaving a few unaffected in certain sleep states or under hypnosis. Kyle and Alpha investigate mysterious circumstances and come to believe that a new human upgrade is imminent, and not necessarily beneficial. There isn't much hard science in this book, but the big-picture questions of brain/computer similarities and "Could human brains all be wired together?" make interesting food for thought. The story works best in tandem with Lancaster's Human.4 (Egmont USA, 2011), which lays out Kyle Straker's experience with the first upgrade.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX
Kirkus Reviews
This sequel to Human.4 (2012) portrays a not-exactly-science-y future. Peter is the son of the man who saved the world by inventing robot bees. Destined by his wealthy genius father for a future in science, Peter rebels against both by enrolling in a literature class and befriending Alpha, a girl in a wacky religious cult. Alpha is a Strakerite, following the ancient tapes of Kyle Straker. Kyle and his girlfriend Lilly believed humans are regularly upgraded by aliens. Skeptical at first, Peter is soon convinced; if it doesn't make sense that humans could have evolved the Link that acts as a telepathic Internet, then clearly it must be because Kyle was right about everything. Peter investigates: Is his father hiding something about the Straker tapes? Alpha has a job, too, even though she's a girl: "Every upgrade has a Kyle and it has a Lilly," Peter's father explains. "…The Lilly paradigm follows her Kyle into the fire." In choppy prose, Peter takes a journey of bad science and flawed logic in the hopes of saving the world. Despite logic-leaping plot development (which disconcertingly mirrors contemporary political arguments about evolution and "intelligent design"), Peter's world contains some compelling science-fictional window dressing: not just robot bees but downloadable clothing and filaments allowing direct human-to-computer uplink. Technology aside, this future looks unimaginatively like the present, from university curriculum to social structures. (Science fiction. 12-16)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781606844113
Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/01/2012
Series:
Fiction - Young Adult
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
651,757
Lexile:
830L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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