Host Shannon Palus explores a future in which high school girls stay atop the social hierarchy by editing their genes, giving themselves purple eyes and glittery skin. That’s what fiction author E. Lily Yu imagines 2060 is like in her short story, “Zero in Babel,” which was published on Slate as part of the Future Tense Fiction series. Shannon and producer Cameron Drews read an excerpt from the story, and then Shannon speaks with Yu about her creative process.
After the interview, Aaron Mak joins the show for this week’s edition of “Don’t Close My Tabs.”
Stories discussed on the show:
• “Zero in Babel”
• “The Future Will Grind On” (a response essay to “Zero in Babel”)
Shannon’s tab: Through the Shadowlands: A Science Writer’s Odyssey Into an Illness Science Doesn’t Understand, by Julie Rehmeyer
“How to Assess Internet Cures Without Falling for Dangerous Pseudoscience”
Aaron’s tab: “You Guys, Chris Hansen Needs Our Help”
Podcast production by Camera Drews, with help from Phil Surkis.
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If Then is presented by Slate and Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy, and culture. To read more, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter.