Books to Help You Celebrate the Return of Black Mirror

The third season of Black Mirror just hit Netflix last week, but it’s already giving me the creeps with its too close to home fictional futures. If you haven’t watched seasons one or two I have some great news: each episode is a stand alone story with a completely different cast and plot, so you can start anywhere. If you’re flying through the new episodes and need a bit more terrifying technology, here are a few books to help quench your thirst.

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood91Yw8e2a1qL._SL1500_

The stories in Stone Mattress don’t quite feel like they’re in the same universe as Black Mirror, but they don’t fit perfectly into ours either. In a blurred, slightly fantastical version of reality, Atwood’s story collection touches on aging, death, and mortality in a totally unique way.

 

Children of the New World by Alex WeinsteinChildren of the New World

If you really want to jump back into the feeling of Black Mirror episodes, Children of the New World is the way to go. Each and every story feels like it could be pulled from the page and put on screen; they’re dark, haunting, and eerily possible. Brace yourself for the collection’s title story because it’s a total heartbreaker.

 

Tenth of December by George Saunders9780812993806_be39d (1)

So much of what I love about Black Mirror is echoed in Tenth of December, but George Saunders is able to take the dark, depressing mood of the TV show’s stories and infuse them with humor. The collection is just steeped in satire and absolutely brilliant in every way, which makes it the perfect chaser for for a Black Mirror binge.

 

Smarter Than You Think by Clive Thompsonsmarterthanyouthink

For a true Black Mirror chaser, you’ll probably need Clive Thompson’s Smarter Than You Think. Despite the fact that the show’s creator says he isn’t necessarily trying to make us fear technology (“…it would have been a tragedy if there was a cure for the printing press. I think it’s just that it’s an amazing tool that we as a – as an animal are just getting to grips with because it’s like we’ve grown a new ultra powerful limb and we’re learning how to use it.”), it doesn’t always feel that way. Smarter Than You Think is a great way to come back down to Earth and remind yourself that new technology won’t necessarily bring the downfall of society.

  • I haven’t watched Black Mirror, but have heard a lot about it and am enjoying Children of the New World (well, the first story at least, which is how far I’ve gotten)!

  • I only watched the first one of the third season (the upvoting one with Bryce Dallas Howard) but I’m digging it!

  • I keep hearing about Black Mirror. Would love to watch it, but maybe I should try the books instead!

  • Oo, Tenth of December is such a great choice. I still haven’t read the whole collection, but the one story I did read gave me definite Black Mirror vibes.

  • I hadn’t heard of Black Mirror — looks pretty wild. Stone Mattress was splendid especially the eerie title story about offing the guy in Alaska. Wow he was a goner!

  • I’m a little late to the game, but I totally binged Black Mirror the last couple weeks. So weird and wonderful. I have a copy of Children of the New World–maybe this comparison will inspire me to finally read it :P