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In near-future Silicon Valley, a young unemployed software engineer joins a tech giant’s secretive community seeking shelter from the chaos of a failing world. But this ideal society is not, in fact, so perfect.
Silicon Valley in the 2030s is not so different from today, filled with vaguely sexist CEOs, contested inequality politics, and startups that are almost a joke. After she loses her job when her startup folds and loses her home to California’s annual wildfires, Sara joins the latest thing: an unnamed tech giant’s quasi-utopian community, floating above the drowned land that was once Monterey. Alone on the inside with a thousand mysteriously chosen strangers, Sara is insulated by an all-powerful corporation from the turmoil of crumbling governments and a changing climate. Everyone around her seems incredibly thankful, rescued from gig work and student loans and bad news, but she can’t find her own gratitude. As she learns more about her new home, she begins to see the cracks in its perfect facade. She must choose between surveillance and lies from the anonymous algorithms that protect her or face a vulnerable life outside the system to which she has signed away her next five years. Leaving, she learns, may not even be an option.
“Kelsey Josund’s Platformed is a deliciously slow-burn SF character study very much in the vein of Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway in all its close-to-home one-wrong-move-from-reality plausibility, its deep dive depiction of a too-familiar-for-comfort hypercapitalist dystopia, and, most critically, the hope it extends toward an alternative.”
– Nicole Kornher-Stace, author of Firebreakand Archivist Wasp
“A postmodern story reminiscent of works by Kafka or Sartre.”
– J. F. Alexander, author of the theological sci-fi novel I Am Sophia
“A very highly recommended story that will hit close to home for many sci-fi fans in a dystopian production designed to keep readers thinking and involved to the end.”
– D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“Beautifully written and terrifying.”
– Susan Lee, former Silicon Valley journalist and winner of the Writers of the Future and World Fantasy Awards
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