Laurie Penny writes exceptionally well on issues of social justice, feminism, and politics in her non-fiction. Her first fiction book, Everything Belongs to the Future (2016), shows similar expertise; it’s a sharp and insightful novella of science fiction that deftly wields the tools of genre to comment on the present.
Life-extension technology has transformed the world, but it’s also exacerbated the inequality between the world’s wealthy and its underprivileged. In Oxford, a group of hardscrabble activists has mobilized to make a difference, their modest mission to steal “the fix” from the rich to redistribute it to the poor. But their latest operation, a pharmaceutical heist from a one-percenter party, introduces them to Daisy Craver, one of the scientists responsible for developing the life-extending drugs. Daisy is disillusioned with the unjust caste system the fix has perpetuated, and her rebellious involvement with the group is about to transform its capabilities — and propel their work in dangerous new directions.
Everything Belongs to the Future is a riveting read that channels the modern political zeitgeist into a gripping dystopian metaphor. It’s a dark vision, but written from a refreshing and insightful perspective. Highly recommended, and I hope we’ll see more fiction from this distinctive voice.