Appliance

APPLIANCE is a highly inventive and humane novel about a world obsessed with progress, and a story of how technology and our hunger for new things has the capacity to erode our human rights and freedoms. It is the first novel from the award-winning poet, and has received excellent reviews (including in The Telegraph and The Scotsman) since its publication in May 2022, and has been included in the best science fiction lists of 2022 in The Guardian, The Times, and the Financial Times.

 ‘Are they paying you extra for this? You’d better be getting something. For the inconvenience, I mean. Here for the whole weekend is what they said. What if we’d had guests? They never asked. And in any case what are the dangers? Being tested like lab rats, we are. Did they even try to provide any assurance it was all perfectly-‘This is the prototype. The first step to a new future. A future that will be easy and abundant. A future in which distance is no longer a barrier to human contact. And all it takes is a simple transport unit, in every home, every street, every town. Quick. Clean. Easy. A future driven by data, not emotion. And so begins the journey of a new technology that will soon change the world and everyone in it – the sceptics and the converts, the innocents and the evangelists. A scientific wonder that quickly becomes an everyday aspect of life.

 But what of our inherent messiness? In a world preoccupied with progress, what will happen to the things that make us human: the memories, the fears, the love, the blood, the contradictions, the mortality? As we push for a sense of perfection, what do we stand to lose?Questioning, innovative and shot through with a rich humanity, Appliance is much more than a novel. It examines our faith in technology, our hunger for new things and the rapid changes affecting all our lives. It challenges us to stop and reflect on the future we want, the systems we trust, and what really matters to us.

J O Morgan is a Scottish author. His 2018 work Assurances, looking at the RAF’s early involvement with maintaining the nuclear deterrent, won that year’s Costa Poetry Award. He has been twice shortlisted for both the Forward and the T S Eliot prize. His novel Pupa, in which human society is depicted with a different biological lifecycle, was published in 2021.

J O Morgan is represented by Eleanor Birne at PEW Literary Agency, and APPLIANCE was published by Jonathan Cape in May 2022.

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