Technological advances are incredible. Just think, the phone in your pocket is infinitely more powerful than the computers that sent the first spaceships to the moon! Technology has given us basic things we take for granted like running water and electricity, to more modern inventions such as the internet, surgical robots, and automated vacuum cleaners. We are living longer, easier lives with the help of technology. But is there a line we aren’t meant to cross when it comes to technology?

As technology improves, we inevitably face change. As humans, while we crave improvement and change, we also fear it. When scientists first invented CRISPR, the sky appeared to be the limit – but what if a genetically modified wheat that was resistant to most crop diseases caused an unintended side effect? How do we know what will happen when a new technology is unleashed on the world?

We don’t. But science fiction writers love to speculate…

In this episode, we are joined by Sarah Pinsker, who explores the anxieties of technological advancement in her latest novel, We Are Satellites.

Texts mentioned in this episode include:

  • Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress
  • Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
  • Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
  • The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin
Sarah Pinsker

Sarah Pinsker is the author of over fifty works of short fiction, two novels, and one collection. Her work has won three Nebula Awards (Best Novel, A Song For A New Day; Best Novelette, “Our Lady of the Open Road,” Best Novelette, “Two Truths And A Lie”), the Philip K Dick Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Award, and been nominated for numerous Nebula, Hugo, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards. Her fiction has been published in magazines including Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Uncanny and in numerous anthologies and year’s bests. 

Sarah’s first collection, the Philip K Dick Award-winning Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea: Stories, was published by Small Beer Press in March 2019, and her first novel, A Song For A New Day, was published by Penguin/Random House/Berkley in September 2019. Her latest book is We Are Satellites, published in May 2021.