The Heart Goes Last

In this near future dystopian novel, ‘finance capitalism has pushed itself over the edge’, and the wealth gap between the rich and the poor has exploded. 

Charmaine and Stan started out well: – she had a promising job in the Ruby Slippers Retirement Home; he was in quality control in Dimple Robotics. But now they live in their car, Charmaine working in a bar, and using the money from their house to pay the gas bills.

In desperation they join the Positron socioeconomic experiment based around a post modern prison. The Consilence/Postiron twin city experiment solves crime and unemployment – each citizen would spend a month as a guard in the city and a month as a prisoner – half the number of jobs would need to be created and half the number of dwellings – each person shares a job and a home with their Alternate.

Charmaine settles in to living in the prison town with its 50s aesthetic, even though her job is to euthanise the criminals. Stan runs the prison chicken farm, and soon both become attracted to their Alternates.

Things spiral out of control, as neurotechnology advances, and their sexual desires increase. The whole Positron Project soon turns sour and starts to crumble from within.

“The Heart Goes Last” challenges the advantages of technological progress and how close the world is to a tipping point. The book is set in future U.S.A, but is still in the 21st Century. ‘The Heart Goes Last’ is a YA think, as it addresses many rude features and has some strong language, so check with your parents before reading it. This book is so good, and is also available as an eBook. 

If you are into this type of thing, even if you are not, but can access BCCiPlayer, check out the drama I, Robot, which tackles the issue of how reliant humans have become on electronics, even though it was written 60 years ago.

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