Customer Review

Reviewed in Australia on 7 May 2017
In this anthology of twenty-four short stories, authors explore what post-election America might look like in a post-truth world, where alternative truths have provided new versions of reality. This anthology was put together by editors Phyllis Irene Radford and Bob Brown during the first one hundred days of Donald Trump’s presidency, and it is well worth reading.

In different ways, authors have explored what post-election America might become. Consider the possibility of Donald Trump’s wall between the USA and Mexico, and then read ‘Relics: A Fable’ by Louise Marley. Think about our fear of terrorism, and read ‘Raid at 817 Maple Street’. And when you’ve finished reading it, think about how government agencies share information with the public.

If you want something lighter(!), based on ‘The Nightingale’ by Hans Christian Andersen, I can recommend ‘The Trumperor and the Nightingale’ by Diana Hauer.

There is something for everyone in this anthology: ‘Altered to Truth’ by Irene Radford makes me laugh, nervously, while ‘We’re Still Here’ by Rebecca McFarland Kyle seems horrifyingly possible. And it shouldn’t:

‘We’d told the truth and they’d turned the lie into a reality.’

In ‘Pinwheel Party’ by Victor D. Phillips, you might laugh but you could equally cry:

‘Even optimists, with their cups half full, were left with nothing more than broken handle shards between shaking thumbs and forefingers.’

These are not just stories for readers in the USA: alternative truths seem to be spreading around the world. Some of the detail is particularly American, but many of the scenarios could be (shudder) far more international. Read it and weep, and then think about the next hundred days, and the next four years.

Note: I was offered, and accepted, a copy of this anthology for review purposes. I am glad I did.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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