In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders
"Our product cannot read your baby's mind," says a representative from a toy corporation in George Saunders's latest collection of short stories, "although we are probably working on it." In these dark, biting, and oddly compassionate tales, Saunders's satirical characters and bureaucracy-laden, brand-name-driven consumer culture present America in a fun-house mirror.
Future Hype by Bob Seidensticker
Bob Seidensticker wants you to stop crowing about how much your damn BlackBerry has changed life as we know it. You want a real technological paradigm shift? How about the telegraph? An MIT grad and Microsoft vet, the author sets up and knocks down nine "wrongheaded notions about techno-logical change" in a book that's sure to top the counterintuitive charts. Oh, and chill out about the Internet, okay?
A version of this article appeared in the May 2006 issue of Fast Company magazine.