A Book & A Beer – Tell the Machine Goodnight

I chose this book because NPR recommended it, read HERE. And this slightly in the future sci-fi novel from Katie Williams really works well in spots. The lead character, as it were, shifts every one or two chapters to show a broader portrait of the group of people being focused on and the happiness machine, Apricity, that brings them together.

Apricity is owned by what appears to be a better run morally tech company. You swab your cheek, place the saliva into the machine and it will spit out three suggested actions that you should do to achieve happiness. Simple as “get more sleep”, “get a dog” and others much harder and scarier.

But this book isn’t about the dark edges so much. It is more involved with Pearl, the Apricity tech, her ex, her son and a celebrity Calla Pax. Those chapters are the weakest.

There is life at stake but nothing huge like life v death. Even the corporate espionage was soft pedaled. Everyone is mostly nice if odd. The conceit and the machine are the best part of this tale.

Humans and Americans in particular tend to not do what is in their best interest. I would love to see the results of a beer Apricity on me. Would it go way off in one direction, would it tell me to drink an old favorite long forgotten or would it shield me from hops that I do not like. Interesting thought experiment for sure.

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