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One Family and the Technology That Divides Them: Sarah Pinsker's We Are Satellites


Sarah Pinsker’s new novel is called We Are Satellites. In this story Sarah examines the societal effects of a brain boosting implant called "The Pilot"--and she does this through the lens of an ordinary family. Teenager David comes home from school and tells his moms Val and Julie that he wants a Pilot--a brain implant that will help him do better in school, pointing out that most of his classmates already have one. They reluctantly agree. Julie soon gets a Pilot for herself, leaving Val and their daughter Sophie as part of a fast growing minority of people without the device. It doesn’t take long for the societal implications to show --special classes for non-piloted students, the poor and those with medical issues are excluded from getting the device; those without Pilots are quickly turned down for jobs. As society is split into the haves vs have-nots, you can’t help but ask what does this mean for education, jobs, prisons, social class? 

But at the heart of We Are Satellites is family. This story will make you feel like you are a part of this flawed but brave family struggling to do the right thing--much of this story is about growing up and finding your place in the world, And conversely, learning when to step back and let your children become the adults you’ve hopefully prepared them to become. It will also have you wondering how far Big Tech will go for profit or for scientific advancement, and what could that mean for our families and society and humanity.