The best recent science fiction – reviews roundup

Everything About You by Heather Child, Hunted by GX Todd, The Body Library by Jeff Noon, 84K by Claire North, The Rig by Roger Levy

Heather Child’s debut novel, Everything About You (Orbit, £14.99), reads as though the author has travelled to the future and returned with an itemised report. We are in near-future Britain, and Child has extrapolated from current trends in social media to catalogue the pitfalls and benefits of a world in which most citizens take part in various forms of virtual reality and smartware curates everyone’s identity. The novel begins eight years after Freya’s 17-year-old stepsister, Ruby, vanished without trace, and Freya has been living with a burden of guilt and grief. When she borrows her ex-boyfriend’s Smartface hardware, its algorithms trawl the datasphere and provide Freya with a default virtual helpmate – a construct based on her sister’s old online presence. The novel is ...