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Under the Blue

Oana Aristide

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Serpents Tail
01 June 2021
'A book of insight and foresight, lit with wit and gorgeous with intelligence', Jay Griffiths, author of Wild: An Elemental Journey and Why Rebel A road trip beneath clear blue skies and a blazing sun: a reclusive artist is forced to abandon his home and follow two young sisters across a post-pandemic Europe in search of a safe place. Is this the end of the world?

Meanwhile two computer scientists have been educating their baby in a remote location. Their baby is called Talos, and he is an advanced AI program. Every week they feed him data, starting from the beginning of written history, era by era, and ask him to predict what will happen next to the human race. At the same time they're involved in a increasingly fraught philosophical debate about why human life is sacred and why the purpose for which he was built - to predict threats to human life to help us avoid them - is a worthwhile and ethical pursuit.

These two strands come together in a way that is always suspenseful, surprising and intellectually provocative: this is an extraordinarily prescient and vital work of fiction - an apocalyptic road novel to frighten and thrill.
By:   Oana Aristide
Imprint:   Serpents Tail
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Export/Airside
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 135mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   351g
ISBN:   9781788167611
ISBN 10:   1788167619
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   01 June 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Oana was born in Transylvania, to parents of Romanian, Greek and Yemeni background. After the fall of communism the family emigrated to Sweden. Oana has worked in the City of London as a macroeconomist, and as an advisor to the Romanian prime minister, but since 2018 she has lived on a Greek island, converting a heritage villa into a hotel.

Reviews for Under the Blue

Under the Blue is a novel with a terrible beauty. Oana Aristide gives us so much to think about: environmental destruction, the melting of the polar ice, eco-terrorism, but all within a heart-stopping story of three survivors travelling through Europe alone. I couldn't look away -- Claire Fuller, author * Bitter Orange * A super-smart and relentlessly gripping addition to the ecofiction genre, Under the Blue is by turns chilling, incisive, and casually hilarious. It also features one of the most convincing sentient-AI characters in recent fiction -- Sandra Newman, author * The Heavens * A book of insight and foresight, lit with wit and gorgeous with intelligence -- Jay Griffiths, author * Wild: An Elemental Journey * The discussions between human and AI are fascinating, revealing different ways of perceiving reality ... a beautifully written, emotionally gripping book. -- Guardian Oana Aristide has woven deep questions about ethics, artificial intelligence, our treatment of the natural world and the prospect of human extinction into a page-turning thriller with a surprising ending -- Peter Singer, author * The Most Good You Can Do * Chillingly evocative and relentlessly unsettling. A compelling battle for humanity's survival fought simultaneously on both the physical and intellectual fronts. -- Chris Brookmyre Highly readable and chilling. Threads together a pandemic storyline with the implications of AI in a way that is very intriguing and especially relevant today -- Mark Lynas, author * Our Final Warning: Six Degrees of Climate Emergency * Under the Blue fuses the 'keep moving' urgency that drives apocalyptic road novels with a restrained love story and a science fiction that is at once unnerving, tender and credible -- Cynan Jones, author * The Dig * Terrifying but hopeful, smart, vital and urgent: the ultimate must-read. -- Charles Foster, author * Being a Beast * What an extraordinary book this is; ostensibly a compelling, addictive post-apocalyptic thriller, but also a ferociously intelligent examination of artificial intelligence, a highly accomplished treatise on the function of art, and a lyrical, moving, vitally urgent plea for expanded ecological awareness. It is a book with the force of prophecy -- Niall Griffiths, author * Broken Ghost * A clear-eyed, unstinting challenge to all our complacencies that is unsettling, brave, philosophical, and as fast-paced as a thriller. A Frankenstein for modern times that, maybe, if we are lucky and if we listen to what it has to say, just might be the book to change our lives * Laura Beatty * Highly readable and hugely important - an apocalyptic road trip into our near future informed and shaped by the most pressing issues of our present * Owen Sheers * A startling, intellectual, post-Covid adventure * New Scientist * Under the Blue's depth of thought shows through in its parallels with real events, and its angle on the subject emerges gradually but resonantly... a sad, angry novel with a surprising note of hope * SFX *


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