Get to know the Top 40: 5 books that will change your perspective on the future

There are 40 books on the Canada Reads longlist. Where should you begin? How should you cast your precious votes? Don't worry: we're here to help.

Each one of the books on this list will change your perspective on some aspect of the world, and all week, we'll be exploring which is which. So check back with us every day and pretty soon you'll know the Top 40 like the back of your hand.

Today: Books that will change your perspective on the future.

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

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Margaret Atwood's readers are no stranger to her chilling visions of the future, and 2009's The Year of the Flood is the second book in her MaddAddam trilogy, which began with Oryx and Crake. The series is about a post-apocalyptic world in which most of the human population has been wiped out, and genetically engineered hybrid beasts roam the earth. But Atwood's trilogy is really a warning call about the way we live now.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow


Set in the near-future, Cory Doctorow's novel is a technology-infused adventure about a cocky 17-year-old hacker in San Francisco who is mistakenly arrested and accused of terrorist activity. When he is finally let go, he emerges from prison to find that his city has become a police state. With headlines flying around these days about government surveillance, Doctorow's book is a timely exploration of the hyper-scrutinized world that we might already live in.

Swarm by Lauren Carter


Lauren Carter's debut novel, Swarm, is also set in the near-future, where Sandy is living a subsistence life of fishing, farming and beekeeping on an island after escaping an urban life plagued by violence and power shortages. A sombre look at a very realistic-looking future of shrinking choices and precarious living.

The Blue Light Project by Timothy Taylor


Yet another familiar near-future narrative, but this one is about a hostage situation at a television studio, the nasty media frenzy that results, and the power of art and beauty to overcome rage and violence. Taylor's book contains a prescient plot point about smartphone surveillance -- read it to find out what else he'll be proven right about.

Sub Rosa by Amber Dawn


Amber Dawn's debut novel is a modern fairy tale about a group of lost souls in the underworld of a city that sort of resembles Vancouver. Dawn teaches speculative fiction writing at Douglas College, and her book is an elegant allegory about the important role that memories play in envisioning a future for ourselves.

Do any of these books get your vote? Or are you waiting to hear about the other 35? Vote now!


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