Billionaire blogger Bill Gates gives a thumbs up to a 2022 Best Novel finalist

By Michael Grossberg

Billionaire blogger Bill Gates is highlighting a Prometheus Best Novel finalist  among his favorite books of the year.

On the book page of Gates’ blog, he’s currently recommending Klara and the Sun, by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro.

Almost all the books Gates recommends on his blog are non-fiction, but occasionally a novel pops up – such as Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow or David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (an epic sf/fantasy perhaps best known for the ambitious film version of its multi-era reincarnation saga.)

To my mind, that makes Gates’ rare thumb ups for works of fiction – especially when they fall into the genre of science fiction – even more notable and worth mentioning.
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Klara and the Sun: Ishiguro’s Best Novel finalist offers hauntingly ambiguous tragedy about unrecognized agency, awareness and rights

By Michael Grossberg

The sympathetic character at the center of Klara and the Sun is profoundly human in her caring, determination, curiosity, loyalty and observant intelligence.

And yet, Klara is an artificial being, an android branded and sold as an Artificial Friend in Kazuo Ishiguro’s acclaimed novel, one of five 2022 Prometheus Best Novel finalists.

Set a generation or two into the future and strictly told from the highly limited point of view of Klara, the novel never fully answers the question of whether Klara has achieved full self-awareness (and thus should be treated as a person with rights.)

Yet, Ishiguro carefully drops enough clues and hints to make Klara and the Sun both a tantalizingly ambiguous mystery about the threshold of full consciousness and a haunting meta-libertarian parable about the foundations of rights and the tragedy that can occur when basic “humanity” and basic rights go unrecognized.

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Meet the author: Nobel-Prize-winner Kazuo Ishiguro, a Best Novel finalist for Klara and the Sun

A Nobel-Prize-winning author has written a novel chosen as a Best Novel finalist – a notable and interesting intersection of two literary awards with quite different focuses.

Kazuo Ishiguro in 2017 (Creative Commons license)

Japanese-British author Kazuo Ishiguro, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, writes mostly “mainstream” fiction that often conveys a wistful sense of loss and missed connections.

Klara and the Sun, Ishiguro’s latest novel about the ambiguous status of an intelligent and curious A.F. (Artificial Friend), was recently named by Libertarian Futurist Society judges as one of five 2022 Best Novel finalists.

Continue reading Meet the author: Nobel-Prize-winner Kazuo Ishiguro, a Best Novel finalist for Klara and the Sun