So many novels that try to discuss the internet and technology culture do so in a way that feels like the author's never actually used the internet. Is it impossibly difficult to write well about the ways in which we live and have relationships through online platforms that exploit personal privacy and data for capitalist gains? I don't know. I also don't know if we're ever going to run out of books that treat the internet (you know, the global infrastructure used by billions of people for decades) and its users and communities with condescension or alarmism. But Dexter Palmer's Version Control is antithesis of those books: it braids together surveillance culture, dating apps, time travel, and an intimate, often sad portrait of a marriage together into a powerful exploration of possibility and truth. It's really funny and very sharp, and I loved every page.
Although Rebecca Wright has pieced her life back together after a major tragedy, she can’t shake a sense that the world around her feels off-kilter. Meanwhile, her husband’s dedication to his invention, “the causality violation device” (which he would greatly prefer you not call a time machine) has effectively stalled his career—but he may be closer to success than either of them can possibly imagine. Emotionally powerful and wickedly intelligent, Version Control is a stunningly prescient novel about the effects of science and technology on our lives, our friendships, and our sense of self that will alter the way you see the future—and the present.
About the Author
Dexter Palmer’s first novel, The Dream of Perpetual Motion, was selected as one of the best fiction debuts of 2010 by Kirkus Reviews. Palmer lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
An NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, Vox, and Buzzfeed Best Book of the Year One of The Washington Post’s best science fiction and fantasy books of the year
“Exhilarating. . . . A thoughtful, powerful overhaul of the age-old time travel tale.” —NPR
“With time travel as a fascinating backdrop, Palmer delicately examines the layers of stories we create when trying to differentiate ‘the information from the truth.’” —The Washington Post
"One of 2016’s best science fiction novels. . . . Version Control should be on the reading list of every fan of smart sci-fi." —GQ
“Engrossing and strange. . . . A knowing, frequently funny and often very sad novel that explores love, marriage and loss in the age of social media.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Brilliant and richly satisfying: a novel that is utterly true to the complicated and science fictional world we live in today.” —Buzzfeed