The timely, nuanced stories in Children of the New World are some of the most brilliantly disconcerting fiction in recent memory ... As with George Saunders or Ray Bradbury, Weinstein’s satiric ingenuity seldom overpowers his deep compassion for our wayward species. To this he adds a keenly observant sense of the everyday ... superlatively moving and thought-provoking, imbued with disarming pathos and a palpable sense of wonder and loss.
It’s almost impossible not to think of Black Mirror while reading Children of the New World, a remarkable new short-story collection ... By turns satirical, jarring, ludicrous, and sad, Weinstein’s stories take present-day anxieties about pornography, cloning, social media, and digital isolation, and follow them to their logical extremes. Thanks to wry prose and humor, the collection is less moody and horror-steeped than similar speculative works.
This is not an impeccable book. Going through it is a bit like going through a carwash, with alternating spells of monotony and liveliness; some parts are messier than others. But the best of Mr. Weinstein’s stories whistle with a cockeyed, formidable intelligence, and he is not afraid to provoke ... At his least artful moments, Mr. Weinstein’s stories are too literal, and his moral takeaways, too obvious ... But at their finest, Mr. Weinstein’s stories contain moments of moral complexity and, even more challenging — and more moving — moments of grace.
It becomes clear early in the book that Weinstein is a master of his craft. His stories are each elegantly constructed, many with a startling reveal at the end, both surprising and obvious, which is formally reminiscent of certain Golden Age science fiction stories ... On display is an enviable ability on the part of Weinstein to craft endings ... [the] pessimism is deceptive. There is something in the way the characters in his stories endure despite how bleak their world seems to get that seems hopeful.
[an] excellent collection ... these 13 stories artfully slam an unchecked obsession with technology and affirm the beauty of reality’s texture ... the book’s title story beautifully depicts the real grief that may one day accompany shattered virtual lives.
...[a] harrowing debut collection ... The technology in Weinstein's stories isn't farfetched, and that makes it all the more frightening ... Weinstein writes sensitively and with deceptive simplicity, slicing into the emotional core of his haunted, self-estranged characters. The more they connect via technology, the less connected they feel ... Children of the New World is a nuanced and complex vision of where we as a species might be going — and how, for better and for worse, we're already there.
Over 13 tales, he steeps us in a realm of alternate realities close to our own, but each with a thought-provoking twist ... While the world his characters inhabit is more tech-infused than our own, their personal challenges are timeless. In direct, unadorned prose, the mostly first-person narrators recount their anxieties and fears about raising good kids, providing for families, and forming meaningful, intimate relationships ... If Weinstein has a weakness, it’s that many of his stories sound the same dire note of a future that’s closer than we’d like.
Weinstein is such a mesmerizing writer that he infuses old sci-fi tropes with emotional life ... The second story, 'The Cartographers,' deals with another sci-fi cliché, implanted memories. But Weinstein handles it masterfully with his excellent writing and rich imagination ... thematic repetition could have been avoided by saving some of these short pieces for a later collection. And at times Weinstein is guilty of imaginative overreach that ruins a scene ... Weinstein is a fearfully prescient writer, and his stories are compelling depictions of people like ourselves, struggling in a future that’s almost here.