Time travel, autofiction and pandemics. Emily St. John Mandel’s New Novel Has It All: 1A : NPR
She rose to fame in 2014 with her fourth novel, “Station Eleven” — a post-apocalyptic pandemic survival tale that has taken on new meaning in the past two years. It was adapted into a hit the HBO Max series.
Now, Emily St. John Mandel is back with his latest work of speculative fiction, “Sea of Tranquility.”It’s a pandemic novel written during a pandemic…about an author who wrote a pandemic novel just before a pandemic.
Speculative fiction often uses the future to decode the present. Here, Mandel also brings the past into the mix, creating a speculative universe where the end of each plot doubles as a trapdoor to the middle of another plot. And this mix of old and new doesn’t stop at its funky timeline. Although sea of tranquility Set largely in the future and adorned with sci-fi flourishes, it raises old questions about how we can make sense of it. “Human beings have wondered if their world is real for as long as they dream,” my colleague Jason Kehe recently said. wrote in an essay on simulation theory. Kehe argues that several recent books dealing with simulation theory “not only show that one can live meaningfully in a simulated world, but this one should.”
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