We asked writers, friends, and well-wishers to share the books they’re diving into this summer. The selections, which range from fiction to theory, make for great beach reads and are, for the most part, appropriately sized for the task. We hope this sampling tides you over until early September, when Issue no. 31 — our redesign issue — is due out.
If It Floats
Waste Tide by Chen Quifan and translated by Ken Liu. Tor Books, 2019.
Waste Tide would be a poolside summer read if that pool were toxic swill of first-world effluence. CHEN QUIFAN’s science fiction novel was first published in China in 2013 and he’s currently futurist-in-residence at SCI-Arc. Set amid the e-waste trash heaps of Silicon Isle, a fictional polluted strip of land in a dying sea off the coast of China, the story evokes a future ravaged by climate change choking on obsolete consumer electronics. Modeled in part on the very real town of Guiyu, it’s an uncomfortably recognizable portrait of the Capitalocene and reflection of near-feudal class disparities. In this way, it resonates with novelist and …