Universal Love by Alexander Weinstein

universal loveI loved Weinstein’s Children of the New World, so I was eager to read this title. The speculative stories in Universal Love imagine how future technology will impact humanity; how we survive, how we come to know ourselves, and how we connect to each other. The premises seem far-fetched, but terrifyingly not the more you read.

I enjoyed every single story, but “Beijing” and “Comfort Porn” were my favorites by far. LGBTQ+ folks who’ve been made to feel that living authentically creates problems for others will be moved by “Beijing.” “Comfort Porn” frankly explores social media’s effects on friendship and human connection, especially in a capitalist society that reduces people to transactions.

Universal Love was everything I love in speculative fiction: character-driven while still giving me that “must find out what happens next” feeling, futuristic technology that seems not too far away, and social commentary that relates to us today, giving me plenty to chew on after I’ve put the book down.