Upgrade by Blake Crouch

I’d put Blake Crouch in a group of speculative fiction writers including Michael Crichton and Robert Sawyer.

Crichton doomsday. Sawyer looking at the potential upsides of ever changing technology.

Personally, I was super psyched by  Jennifer Doudna, one of the co-creators of CRISPR, an astonishing new technology. Precisely editing DNA.

BUT it turns out Doudna had nightmares about someone like Hitler getting hold of CRISPR.

This book is set a few years from now in a dystopian future. Climate change flooded New York. Wildfires have devastated many parts of the world.

Lead character, Logan Ramsey, is the adult son of a defamed scientist whose CRISPR-like technology caused millions of people to die.  His Mom was trying to change DNA for the better — but the unintended side effects were catastrophic. Famine.

In hiding, his Mom decides to hack her own children — Logan and his sister.

Logan becomes an “upgraded” version of himself: he can focus better, read faster, and operate on a lot less sleep. But his upgrade comes at a cost.

Ultimately the book is a look at whether or not our species will survive on Earth.

And should we try to improve our odds by changing our DNA?

Read the TIME interview.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

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