If a pill kept you young and beautiful without limit, would you take it? The rich, and those considered to be of great cultural value, have a drug that keeps their health, youth, and vitality strong. If you’re a trust fund baby, you’ll be waiting quite a long time to inherit your fortune. However, if you’re poor and considered to be ordinary you will age and die like the rest. Laurie Penny’s Everything Belongs to the Future is a bleak look at the inequalities of society with a Science Fiction take.
Oxford University keeps it’s old appeal while the ultra-rich celebrate their long lives with entertainment and drinks. Bowls of life-extending pills sit in bowls on tables, like beer nuts at a bar. A group of young people sneak into the party to get their hands on what they can to share with the poor and suffering in the streets. They meet the scientist who created the pill; a seemingly young woman perpetually keeping herself at an awkward teenage form. One of the members of the team cannot be trusted. As the rebels work to create a substitute for the drug and provide pills to the poor, one of their ranks is trading secrets for a guaranteed 50 extra years of life.
Everything Belongs to the Future is bleak. While moments of love and desire to protect those closest to you still exist, the desperation to stay young and live causes citizens to take dramatic action. The scientist that created the drug is disillusioned and disgusted by the use of her drug, especially as she has little to no say in how the manufacturer uses it. Laurie Penny makes her readers question what we do in the name of youth, and how money seemingly has power over life and death in society.
If you’re a fan of books like 1984 and Brave New World, this novella is definitely something you’ll want to read this fall.