I’m ready to crown Pinsker the master of a certain kind of personal, human-sized, just-out-of-our-realm-of-experience SF ... Satellites has the precise, tempered pace of a book in which each word seems the only word that could have followed the one before it. The clarity of the writing leaves room for a density of ideas—about brain plasticity and access and truth and corporate responsibility; addiction and freedom and trust lost and regained; what a family is and how its members can love and infuriate each other in sometimes equal measure. What’s stuck in my head, though, is Pinsker’s thoughtful consideration of the things we tend to take for granted—who can and can’t take 'everyday' things for granted, and what that means on a larger scale ... We Are Satellites isn’t a didactic book against tech or new toys, but a graceful exploration of what one seemingly small change means for one family.
Would you get a brain implant to help you multitask? What about one for your child, to help them do better at school? This is science fiction as domestic slice of life; a gripping, believable immersion in the day after tomorrow.
Sarah Pinsker gives us a tale that manages to beautifully blend technology and family life, large-scale transfigurations with individual epiphanies, in a person-sized chronicle of challenges, maturations, and uneasy accommodations to and resistance against 'progress.' ... There is deep identification with all four nicely drawn individuals, built up quickly before the plot really begins to accelerate, and also delivers useful alternate perspectives on the Pilot, as well as handy plot reveals. The David chapters are particularly compelling, as they represent in a unique style his subjective modes of thought, post-Pilot ... The thick details that portray spousal and parental and sibling relations are fresh, vivid, and very touching. You will really believe in the authentic, organic nature of this family ... One thing that Pinsker does admirably is to spread out both the heroism and the moral failings.
Pinsker’s meticulous research and melodious prose bring readers to the heart of a family and the challenges of societal expectations, technology, and the desire to advance without fully understanding the consequences ... What happens when decisions begin to pull at the woven family structure, as David enlists in the Army, and Sophie becomes an anti-Pilot leader? There is always another side to the coin, and the answers are ones that many will go to great lengths to hide.
Pinsker’s cold and cerebral latest revolves around technological haves and have-nots who are divided by class, disability, and ideology ... it’s a slow-developing narrative, marred by slight characterization and check-the-box inclusion of topical issues. Pinsker raises fascinating questions about technology that will appeal to fans of hard science fiction, but the story itself too often reads like dry reportage.