Read Blake Crouch’s ‘Upgrade’ With The SciFri Book Club

Blake Crouch imagines a world where your genome can be hacked in his new sci-fi thriller ‘Upgrade.’ Read it with us this August.

illustrated stack of books with text "scifri book club"Welcome to the SciFri Book Club about Upgrade by Blake Crouch. There’s lots of ways to participate: Read the book, listen to our author interview, join our online community space, or send a message at (646) 767-6532 or on the SciFri VoxPop app.

the book cover for Upgrade by Blake Crouch on top of a black background with a blue and green illustration of a double helix dna strand, with the SciFri Book Club logo in the upper left corner

This August, the SciFri Book Club will contemplate the science, ethics, and possible future potential of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing capabilities with Blake Crouch’s sci-fi thriller, Upgrade. Published this summer, the book follows the consequences of advanced gene editing technology, and asks us to contemplate what we might be willing to sacrifice to save mankind—even if it means losing some of one’s own humanity in the process. This work brings together a myriad of science topics, including genetic engineering, climate change, science policy and ethics, biology, and more—and we’ll touch on those topics throughout this Book Club.

With his newest book, Crouch brings us to a world where humanity’s only hope for a future may only lie in engineering our own evolution—all the while reminding us this future may not be as far off as we once believed. Get your copy from your local bookstore or

This Book Club season kicks off Monday, August 1, and you can read along with us! We’ll be (loosely) following this schedule, but all our readers are welcome to join us at their own pace:

  • Chapters 1-3 from August 1-7
  • Chapters 4-6 from August 8-14
  • Chapters 7-11 from August 15-21
  • Chapters 12-Epilogue from August 22-28
  • Book Club wrap-up from August 29-31

Plus, Blake Crouch will be stopping by Science Friday on Friday, July 15 to talk about his new book! Make sure to listen to the show live from 2:00-4:00pm ET on your local radio station, on our website, or download the episode after we’re live wherever you get your podcasts.

There are so many ways to dive in and participate! You can grab a copy of the book (and support the author and SciFri), read an excerpt from Upgrade, join the discussion in our online Book Club community, sign up for a weekly email newsletter, or come to our upcoming Book Club meeting. Check out all the details below.

Grab Your Own Copy

If you’d like to purchase a physical copy, we encourage you to start with your local bookstore! If they don’t have the book in stock or you’d rather purchase online, you can support Science Friday by buying your copy on our page.

Science Friday, in partnership with Ballantine Books, is giving away 10 free copies of Upgrade. Our giveaway will close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 24, 2022. Winners will be chosen randomly, and notified via email on Monday, July 25, 2022. Enter to win today!

This giveaway has ended – thanks to everyone who entered!

Save The Date(s): SciFri Book Club Events

Want to meet other SciFri Book Club members, talk about the book selection, and find more resources for deeper learning—all without leaving your home? Our community meeting is the place for you!

RSVP for August 29

This discussion meeting will focus on themes and topics featured in Upgrade. You’re welcome to join us no matter your reading progress—come chat with other science-interested folks about gene editing and the science behind the book!

Event promotion image. Over a photo of an abstract DNA double helix, and two images of an author and scientist, both wearing glasses, reads: " How To Put The Science in Science Fiction. Meet a science consultant and author team who make sci-fi feel factual—and more alarming. August 16 at 7:00pm ET -"How To Put The Science In Science Fiction

Join the #SciFriBookClub, currently reading UPGRADE, in conversation with Blake Crouch and Dr. Michael Wiles, an author and science consultant team who make sci-fi feel factual—and more alarming.

  • When: Tuesday, August 16, 2022 at 7:00pm ET
  • Where: Science Friday’s YouTube livestream
  • Tickets: Free! 

Rewatch the Livestream

Join Our Community Space

And as you start reading, join us on our online community space: the Science Friday Book Club is now on Mighty Networks, a platform where we can gather, read and discuss science books together. We’ve built this community space because you told us you wanted a better way to be connected with other SciFri Book Clubbers, and we hope you’ll join us there!

Join Our Community

Read An Excerpt

Not sure this is the book for you? Want to read an excerpt before you commit? We’ve got you covered.

Ballantine Books, the publisher of Upgrade, has offered SciFri Book Clubbers an excerpt of the book! You can read this sample on our website.

Read The Excerpt

Meet the Writer

About Diana Plasker

Diana Plasker is the Senior Manager of Experiences at Science Friday, where she creates live events and partnerships to delight and engage audiences in the world of science.

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