I'm looking for a book I read during the last 5 years, I guess, but it could be really old. I read it in French, but it's probably a translation from English (or another language). I thought it was in Down and Out in the Magical Kingdom by Cory Doctorow, but it's not.

It's a sci-fi book set in the near future, where many technologies help Humanity.

One of these inventions is a device (I think it's a sort of watch) that reassures its owner about his actions. The owner can ask: "What would happened if I didn't do something?" and the device says quite every time "You'd be dead", sometimes with details: "You'd be dead, hit by a bus on Main Street". Possibly even absurd deaths, like "You'd be dead, eaten by thousands of koalas" (this is not an actual example).

The device is used to reassure the owner. We don't know if it says the truth, or if it's just for comforting the owner in his actions. Many people have one.

This device is not a part of the plot, just an intriguing detail in this sci-fi world, among others (that I can't remember yet) .

A love story is probably a part of the plot. Some impossible love? Can't remember. I think there was also something involving genetically modified wolves, with a sort of "little red riding hood" vibe at a point of the story (even if the story, as I remember, was set in cities).

Any idea?

  • 2
    Do you remember anything about the plot? Was it a murder mystery, a love story, a war story?
    – user14111
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 9:45
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    The story wasn't a really serious/dramatic story, I guess. There was no war, alien invasion or anything. As I remember, it was about everyday life in this quite peaceful world. So maybe there was problems at work for the protagonist, a love interest, coworker discussions, family issues. This is the ambiance that I remember, but the plot could be something else. Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 9:56
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    Got to watch out for them drop bears.
    – IG_42
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 10:09

1 Answer 1


Ok, I've finally found it! It was in Lovestar, by Andri Snær Magnason.

French edition of the book

The device I was looking for is called "REGRET". It has no incidence on the story, and now I remember many other services and inventions described in the book. A love story is effectively a big part of the plot. It was a good read, but for some strange reasons I forgot about it.

  • 1
    Just out of curiosity, did this come back to you upon reading this question about someone falling in love with a star? The question hit HNQ and the keywords "love" and "star" might have triggered something. Just asking :)
    – Jenayah
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 13:31
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    Yes ! It reminded me the existence of this book, but I didn't realize at the first time it was the one I was looking for ^^ ("Lovestar" is the name of the inventor, there is nothing about falling in love with a star) Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 13:52

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