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Veronica Roth

Fiction and Excerpts [1]
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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

It Is Your Destiny: 5 Conversations About Becoming the “Chosen One”

I grew up on chosen one stories, and if you like science fiction and fantasy—which, duh, you’re here, aren’t you?—you probably did too. They are everywhere. I always loved them, and I still do, whether they use this trope straightforwardly or get playful with it. I love the interplay between destiny and choice, and the inherent loneliness of specialness; I love the fear of an important purpose, and the craving for it. But one of my favorite parts of every chosen one story is The Conversation. You know, the one where the character finds out they’re “chosen,” and has to decide whether to walk the path that’s been set for them.

You can find out a lot about the story you’re in by how they tackle this conversation. Here are some of the most memorable ones of my life.

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Series: Five Books About…

Read an Excerpt from Veronica Roth’s Chosen Ones

Fifteen years ago, five ordinary teenagers were singled out by a prophecy to take down an impossibly powerful entity… Chosen Ones, as the teens were known, gave everything they had to defeat him.

We’re thrilled to share an excerpt from Chosen Ones, the first adult novel from Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent series. Available now from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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Five Sci-Fi Books Featuring Futuristic Technology

One of the things that first drew to me to science fiction was its exploration of technology. I was a child when we first got dial up Internet…and then Ethernet…and then wifi. I saved up for a long time to buy my first portable CD player…and then an iPod…and then a smartphone. And now I’m at the pinnacle of my relationship with technology: feeling unfocused, anxious, and exposed, I desperately want to go backward. I preordered the Light Phone, I deactivated my personal Facebook and Twitter, and I limit the data I allow into any kind of cloud. I am warier of technology than many in my generation, and yet, in my view, not nearly as wary as I should be.

A lot of science fiction approaches technology with the same wariness I feel—the surveillance state of 1984, the soothing soma of Brave New World—but it’s not a given. A classic example of a more optimistic approach is I, Robot, Isaac Asimov’s collection of related stories about problems with artificial intelligence that are far more curious than alarmed. I crave that perspective as much as I do the suspicious one that mirrors my own, and maybe that’s why my own short stories in The End and Other Beginnings, many of which explore the introduction of new pieces of technology to a teenager’s life, are about how that technology might make us more empathetic, thoughtful, and open. I want to challenge my own perspective. I want to believe paranoia isn’t the only mindset worth embracing.

When it comes to thinking about technology, though, I think we need all kinds of perspectives in our fiction, from the fearful to the optimistic to everything in between. Here are five stories that explore a piece of futuristic technology—for better, worse, or a mix of both.

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Series: Five Books About…

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