Part Field Notes from a Catastrophe, part 1984, part World War Z, John Feffer's striking new dystopian novel, takes us deep into the battered, shattered world of 2050. The European Union has broken apart. Multiethnic great powers like Russia and China have shriveled. America's global military footprint has virtually disappeared and the United States remains united in name only. Nationalism has proven the century's most enduring force as ever-rising global temperatures have supercharged each-against-all competition and conflict among the now 300-plus members of an increasingly feeble United Nations. As he navigates the world of 2050, Julian West offers a roadmap for the path we're already on, a chronicle of impending disaster, and a faint light of hope. He may be humanity's last best chance to explain how the world unraveled—if he can survive the savage beauty of the Splinterlands. John Feffer is the director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. In 2012–2013, he was also an Open Society Fellow looking at the transformations that have taken place in Eastern Europe since 1989. He is the author of several books and numerous articles. He has also produced six plays, including three one-man shows, and published a novel.
Arcadia’s defense corps is mobilized to defend against what first appears to be a routine assault, one of the many that the community must repulse from para- military forces every year. But as sensors report a breach in the perimeter wall, even 80-year-old Rachel Leopold shoulders a weapon and reports for duty. The attack, it turns out, has been orchestrated by one of the world’s largest corporations, CR ISPR International, and it is interested primarily in stopping Rachel’s research into stopping global warming. As Arcadia prepares to defend itself against the next CR ISPR attack, Rachel contacts Emmanuel Puig, the foremost scholar of her ex-husband’s work, to get information that she can use to stop CR ISPR . Arcadia intersperses the action with short reports from Emmanuel Puig on his interactions with Rachel as they meet, via V R, in different parts of the world—Brussels, Ningxia, and finally Darwin. The novel concludes with an explosive, unexpected twist that forces a reevaluation of all that has come before.
A mesmerizing novel of unfolding dystopia amid the effects of climate change in a world very like our own, for readers of Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven and Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood. In this prequel to Eric Barnes's acclaimed cli-fi novel The City Where We Once Lived, six sets of characters move through a landscape and a country just beginning to show the signs of cataclysmic change. A father and his young children fleeing a tsunami after a massive earthquake in the Gulf. A woman and her husband punishing themselves without relent for the loss of both their sons to addiction, while wildfires slowly burn closer to their family home. A brilliant investor, assessing opportunity in the risk to crops, homes, cities, industries, and infrastructure, working in the silent comfort of her office sixty floors up in the scorching air. A doctor and his wife stuck in a refugee camp for immigrants somewhere in a southern desert. Two young men working the rides for a roadside carnival, one escaping a brutal past, the other a racist present. The manager of a chain of nondescript fast-food restaurants in a city ravaged by the relentless wind.. While every night the news alternates images of tsunami destruction with the baseball scores, the characters converge on a city where the forces of change have already broken—a city half abandoned, with one part left to be scavenged as the levee system protecting it slowly fails—until, in their vehicles on the highway that runs through it, they witness the approach of what looks to be just one more violent storm.
This study examines contemporary Spanish dystopian literature and films (in)directly related to the 2008 financial crisis from an urban cultural studies perspective. It explores culturally-charged landscapes that effectively convey the zeitgeist and reveal deep-rooted anxieties about issues such as globalization, consumerism, immigration, speculation, precarity, and political resistance (particularly by Indignados [Indignant Ones] from the 15-M Movement). The book loosely traces the trajectory of the crisis, with the first part looking at texts that underscore some of the behaviors that indirectly contributed to the crisis, and the remaining chapters focusing on works that directly examine the crisis and its aftermath. This close reading of texts and films by Ray Loriga, Elia Barceló, Ion de Sosa, José Ardillo, David Llorente, Eduardo Vaquerizo, and Ricardo Menéndez Salmón offers insights into the creative ways that these authors and directors use spatial constructions to capture the dystopian imagination.
What does it mean for human beings to exist in an era of dronified state violence? How can we understand the rise of robotic systems of power and domination? Focusing on U.S. drone warfare and its broader implications as no other book has to date, Predator Empire argues that we are witnessing a transition from a labor-intensive “American empire” to a machine-intensive “Predator Empire.” Moving from the Vietnam War to the War on Terror and beyond, Ian G. R. Shaw reveals how changes in military strategy, domestic policing, and state surveillance have come together to enclose our planet in a robotic system of control. The rise of drones presents a series of “existential crises,” he suggests, that are reengineering not only spaces of violence but also the character of the modern state. Positioning drone warfare as part of a much longer project to watch and enclose the human species, he shows that for decades—centuries even—human existence has slowly but surely been brought within the artificial worlds of “technological civilization.” Instead of incarcerating us in prisons or colonizing territory directly, the Predator Empire locks us inside a worldwide system of electromagnetic enclosure—in which democratic ideals give way to a system of totalitarian control, a machinic “rule by Nobody.” As accessibly written as it is theoretically ambitious, Predator Empire provides up-to-date information about U.S. drone warfare, as well as an in-depth history of the rise of drones.
In this unique and poignant account of faded dreams, journalist John Feffer returns to Eastern Europe a quarter of a century after the fall of communism. There Feffer tracks down hundreds of people he had interviewed for his earlier book, Shock Waves, decades before as the Iron Curtain fell. From politicians and scholars to trade unionists and grassroots activists, Feffer finds a common story of optimism dashed. These testimonies that he compiles in Aftershock make for fascinating, if sometimes disturbing, reading because they are at once very real and very timely. Among many remarkable characters, Feffer introduces us to a Polish scholar who left academia to become head of personnel at Ikea and a Hungarian politician who turned his back on liberal politics to join the far-right Jobbik party. Feffer finds that years of free-market reforms have failed to deliver prosperity, while corruption and organized crime are rampant, and optimism has given way to bitterness and a newly invigorated nationalism. Yet, through in-depth interviews with the region's many extraordinary activists, Feffer shows that despite these stiff odds, hope for the region's future remains alive in many.
Circling the Tortilla Dragon is a collection of short-short fictions that trace the fine line between prose poem and poetic prose. The flash fictions in the book weave history, myth, and cultural conflict from the centuries old battles between U.S. and Mexican culture. The results are quick glimpses into the mysterious, the surreal, and the strangely real, as animals, voices, modern society and isolated characters confront the remains of their collective and individual experiences.
This text provides a full account, from the German perspective, of the activities and operations of the German Army on the Somme. It covers the whole battle from the commencement of operations there in September 1914 through until the end of the Battle of the Somme in late 1916.
A middle-aged professor falls in love with a student, resulting in the disintegration of his marriage. A sophisticated, ironic retelling of the classic triangle story. What becomes apparent is the way real relationships form and break.