Nominated for the 2013 Philip K. Dick Award!
Late in the twenty-first century, big business is booming and state institutions are thriving thanks to advances in genetic engineering, which have produced a compliant population free of addictions. Violent crime is a rarity.
Hyper-intelligent Jayna is a star performer at top predictive agency Mayhew McCline, where she forecasts economic and social trends. A brilliant mathematical modeler, she far outshines her co-workers, often correcting their work on the quiet. Her latest coup: finding a link between northeasterly winds and violent crime.
When a string of events contradicts her forecasts, Jayna suspects she needs more data and better intuition. She needs direct interactions with the rest of society. Bravely — and naively — she sets out to disrupt her strict routine and stumbles unwittingly into a world where her IQ is increasingly irrelevant... a place where human relationships and the complexity of life are difficult for her to decode. And as she experiments with taking risks, she crosses the line into corporate intrigue and disloyalty.
Can Jayna confront the question of what it means to live a “normal” life? Or has the possibility of a “normal” life already been eclipsed for everyone?
Anne Charnock is the author of Dreams Before the Start of Time, winner of the 2018 Arthur C. Clarke Award. Her debut novel, A Calculated Life, was a finalist for the 2013 Philip K. Dick Award and the 2013 Kitschies Golden Tentacle award. The Guardian featured Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind in “Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2015.” Anne’s novella, The Enclave, won the 2017 British Science Fiction Association Award for Short Fiction. Her writing career began in journalism, and her articles appeared in the Guardian, New Scientist, International Herald Tribune, and Geographical.