The Future is Yours by Dan Frey is a sci-fi that looks into the future. Ben and Adhvan have built a program, and now The Future is Yours.
This book is laid out as a series of articles, text messages, emails, and court documents. We can see that Ben and Adhvan are college friends who have created a fantastic product through this formatting. This product, “The Future,” can allow anyone to receive news and emails from exactly one year in the future. However, as we progress through the story, we can see the flaws in this programming. As the story goes on, we also see the flaws in the characters. Ben can come across as manipulative, and he gaslights Adhvan. Adhvan suffers from mental illness and struggles with a personality like Ben’s, being the only person he loves.
There are plenty of things foreshadowed in the different futures that we’re shown. As the story carries on, though, we see that there are times the end diverges from the predicted future. This continues to get worse as the story goes, and no one seems to know why. As this story progresses, you get more and more concerned about the toxic friendship that is Ben and Adhvan.
“And I find your presentation, like your personality, to be heavy on hype, light on substance.”
I enjoyed this book. Because it was the world we already exist in, there was no need for much world-building. The characters had a lot of growth and not necessarily in a positive way. We were allowed to watch them fall apart, and the ending really brought justice to this. However, excessive information on the science behind their programming felt overwhelming to me. As someone technical but not scientific, I understood some but not all of this.
“First, fuck Windows, I built this OS myself.”
(tbh, I’m including this quote as a Windows Admin.)
Due to the mass amount of detailed scientific articles, I skimmed these bits and finished the book quickly. I realized that I could have missed some vital information in doing this, but all of the science negatively went over my head. That was a little frustrating to experience.
My other grief, and the reason this is not a 5 star read, is that they refer to Borderline Personality Disorder as Bipolar. Considering this diagnosis would have been given in 2020 or 2021, I sincerely doubt that this mistake would be made. I know this is a mistake because the symptoms given for the diagnosis are not symptoms of bipolar, but are symptoms of BPD. Also, bipolar is called BPD repeatedly in this diagnoses section, and I have never seen that on my own paperwork- as a bipolar person. If you’re going to include mental illness in a book, I would suggest making sure it’s thoroughly researched.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book, and I liked the way it represented the dangers of knowing the future. It showed many sides of this danger and indicated that maybe we would be better off minding our own business.
Thank you to Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.