Read Blake Crouch’s ‘Upgrade’ with SciFri Book Club

Welcome at the SciFri book club about Upgrade by Blake Crouch. There are many ways to participate: read the book, listen to our interview with the author, rejoin our online community space, Where send a voice message at (646) 767-6532 or on the SciFri VoxPop App.


ad for a book giveaway.  book cover for Upgrade by Blake Crouch on 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 and the words "Science Friday is giving away 10 free copies of Upgrade!" and a stylized button with the words "Enter to win."

In August, the SciFri Book Club will examine the science, ethics and potential future of CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing capabilities with Blake Crouchscience fiction Thriller, Upgrade. Released this summer, the book tracks the consequences of advanced gene-editing technology and asks us to reflect on what we might be willing to sacrifice himself to save humanity, even if it means losing some of his 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 cover these topics throughout this journal club.

With his latest book, Crouch takes us to a world where humanity’s only hope for a future can only lie in engineering our own evolution, while reminding us that that future may not be as far away than we once thought. Pick up your copy from your local bookstore or Bookshop.org.

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

  • Chapters 1-3 from August 1 to 7
  • Chapters 4-6 from August 8 to 14
  • Chapters 7 to 11 from August 15 to 21
  • Chapters 12-Epilogue August 22-28
  • Closing of the book club from August 29 to 31

More, Blake Crouch will be going through Science Friday on Friday, July 15 to talk about his new book! Be sure to listen to the show live from 2-4 PM ET on your local radio station, our website, or download the episode after we’re live wherever you get your podcasts.

There are so many ways to dive 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 next Book Club meeting. Check out all the details below.


Take your own copy

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

Enter to win

ad for a book giveaway.  book cover for Upgrade by Blake Crouch on 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 and the words "Science Friday is giving away 10 free copies of Upgrade!" and a stylized button with the words "Enter to win."

If you would 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 if you prefer to buy online, you can support Science Friday by purchasing your copy from our Library.org page.


Join our community space

And when 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 created this community space because you told us you wanted a better way to connect with other SciFri Book Clubbers, and we hope you’ll join us there!

Join our community


Read an excerpt

Not sure if this book is for you? Want to read an excerpt before committing? We have what you need.

Ballantine Books, the publisher of Upgrade, gave SciFri Book Clubbers an excerpt from the book! You can read this example on our website.

Read the extract



Save the Date: SciFri Book Club Meeting

Want to meet other SciFri Book Club members, talk about 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 exchange meeting will focus on the themes and topics covered in Upgrade. You are welcome, whatever your reading progress, come and chat with others interested in the science of gene editing and the science behind the book!



Meet the writer

Diana Montano

About Diana Montano

Diana Montano is Head of Experiments at Science Friday, where she creates live events and partnerships to delight and engage audiences in the world of science.

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