People's Future of the United States-Speculative Fiction or Future Non-Fiction?
The further you get into this collection of speculative, fictional short stories, the more the question, "Is it really?", comes to the forefront of your mind. Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams have truly gathered some of the sharpest literary minds to contribute to this set of short stories. They delve into what the future might hold for us, using extrapolative techniques like any scientist. Using the current deteriorating political and social climes in the United States, and the world, these 25 writers are able to present a plethora of this is..., because of..., due to... and for your safety scenarios.
These stories explore what can occur when persons of opposite ideals are trapped in a bookstore that straddles the border of a free thinking country like California and the ultra-
conservative America, existence for a non-binary individual in a society that prescribes what it means to be an Ideal Citizen, how activism takes many forms on platforms like social media, confining all 'others' in camps because of their differences in ethnicity and religion, weaponizing humans through bioengineering and the corporatization of humans and land. All these tales, though fictional, seem to be limned with a sharp edge of truth. It is easy to imagine in the not too distant future, one or more of these societal and political injustices being imposed on those deemed different, not one with the ruling majority, 'other'.
But just as there are stories exploring the darker side of what the future might hold, there are those that see threads of hope being wound through our collective future. In Harmony, a couple buy the titular town and establish a community where everyone is welcome in spite of their differences, using genetics to eradicate diversity only to have that diversity proliferate and harnessing the power of love to break free of conversion therapy via AI simulations. Every story in this collection reminds us that we need to fight for a brighter tomorrow.
As different as each story is, there is a thread of connectivity running through this book and it surely left an impact on our psyche.