5 Books to Read if You Like Black Mirror
By: Valeria Ramos
When Black Mirror premiered in 2011, it quickly gained a fan base of people eager to witness theories of what our technology-laden future will hold. If you’re one of those people, here are a few book recommendations that are right up your alley.
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
This is the first book of a dystopian trilogy by Atwood. The setting is a post-plague world where survivor Jimmy (a.k.a Snowman) is surrounded by Children of Crake – a human breed created with no flaws and no understanding of violence, sexual drive, or technology.
This post-apocalyptic world, faced with altered agriculture and climate change (sound familiar?), is home to bizarre science-made animals and plant hybrids for food. As for the “people” now living in this world, Atwood writes disturbing depictions of a population desensitized to horrific acts. Through Jimmy’s POV, we learn how this frightening new world came to be and how he fits into it all.
Machine Man by Max Barry
When scientist Charlie Neuman loses his leg in an accident and gains a prosthetic, he sees this as an opportunity to become something greater than human. Pretty soon Charlie starts removing other parts of his body to be replaced with what he believes are upgrades.
When a military company takes notice of Charlie and his weapon-potential, he struggles to keep control of the body he created.
Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein
It doesn’t get more Black Mirror than this collection of short stories. Weinstein creates utopian and post-collapse societies where technological and cultural changes like social media implants, life-like robots, artificial memories, and dangerously immersive virtual reality games have taken over.
This book explores how technology has influenced relationships, loneliness, and the need for human contact, creating a future reality that is not so hard to imagine.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
This story follows Kathy, a young girl who grows into a woman while attending Hailsham, an English boarding school. The mystery comes into play as we discover the students at Hailsham are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it.
As Kathy and her friends venture to leave the school, we discover the reality of what Hailsham is and begin to unravel Ishiguro’s mysterious take on the future.
Tenth of December by George Saunders
This collection of short stories will keep you as entertained as a night of binge-watching on Netflix. Every story shares new characters that will get right into your head.
A synopsis from GoodReads: “A middle-aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit suicide, only to encounter a troubled young boy who gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he really is. A hapless, deluded owner of an antique store; two mothers struggling to do the right thing; a teenage girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality; a man tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to lust, to love, to kill.”