A Calculated Life
Late in the twenty-first century, big business is booming and state institutions are thriving thanks to advances in genetic engineering, which have produced a compliant population free of addictions. Violent crime is a rarity.
Hyper-intelligent Jayna is a star performer at top predictive agency Mayhew McCline, where she forecasts economic and social trends. A brilliant mathematical modeler, she far outshines her co-workers, often correcting their work on the quiet. Her latest coup: finding a link between northeasterly winds and violent crime. When a string of events contradicts her forecasts, Jayna suspects she needs more data and better intuition. She needs direct interactions with the rest of society. Bravely-and naively-she sets out to disrupt her strict routine and stumbles unwittingly into a world where her IQ is increasingly irrelevant...a place where human relationships and the complexity of life are difficult for her to decode. And as she experiments with taking risks, she crosses the line into corporate intrigue and disloyalty.
Can Jayna confront the question of what it means to live a "normal" life? Or has the possibility of a "normal" life already been eclipsed for everyone?
Nominated for the 2013 Philip K. Dick Award
Anne Charnock's debut novel, A Calculated Life, was nominated for the 2013 Philip K Dick Award and the 2013 Kitschies Golden Tentacle Award (Debut Novel). Her writing career began in journalism. Her articles appeared in the Guardian, New Scientist, International Herald Tribune, and Geographical. She was educated at the University of East Anglia, where she studied environmental sciences, and at the Manchester School of Art. She travelled widely as a foreign correspondent and spent a year trekking through Egypt, Sudan, and Kenya. In her fine art practice, she tried to answer the questions What is it to be human? What is it to be a machine? Ultimately she decided to write fiction as another route to finding answers. Anne is an active blogger and reviews fiction for the online magazine Strange Horizons. She contributes exhibition reviews and book recommendations to the Huffington Post. She splits her time between London and Chester and, whenever possible, she and her husband, Garry, take off in their little campervan, traveling as far as the Anti-Atlas Mountains in southern Morocco.