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The Future We Left Behind
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Gr 7 Up-In Peter Vincent's world, well into the future, the Link keeps people constantly connected, via their own minds. Need to contact someone? Think about it. Need to find out information? Scan the Link in your mind. Humans now have filaments that emerge when needed, to transfer information and perform other services. Lancaster has imagined an interesting futuristic environment: clothing created every morning from templates, invisible elevators, seating that works by supporting the body with high-pressure air. People no longer need to remember anything, as memories go straight to the Link and can be accessed from there. But exactly what is the Link and is it as benign as it seems? The story is told primarily as if it were being downloaded from 16-year-old Peter's scraps of memory, absorbed and then forgotten deep within the WorldBrain. Peter and a classmate Amalfi (also known as Alpha) become deeply involved in the mystery behind the Strakerites, who believe that Kyle Straker's ancient tape recording of an alien "upgrade" jumped most humans vastly ahead in technology and brain function, while leaving a few unaffected in certain sleep states or under hypnosis. Kyle and Alpha investigate mysterious circumstances and come to believe that a new human upgrade is imminent, and not necessarily beneficial. There isn't much hard science in this book, but the big-picture questions of brain/computer similarities and "Could human brains all be wired together?" make interesting food for thought. The story works best in tandem with Lancaster's Human.4 (Egmont USA, 2011), which lays out Kyle Straker's experience with the first upgrade.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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