Genre: Sci-Fi, Apocalyptic, Cyberpunk, Road Trip
About The Book
Life goes on for the billions left behind after the humanity-saving colony mission to Proxima Centauri leaves Earth orbit … but what’s the point?
Julie Riley is two years too young to get out from under her mother’s thumb, and what does it matter? She’s over-educated, under-employed, and kept mostly numb by her pharma emplant. Her best friend, who she’s mostly been interacting with via virtual reality for the past decade, is part of the colony mission to Proxima Centauri. Plus, the world is coming to an end. So, there’s that.
When Julie’s mother decides it’s time to let go of the family home in a failing suburb and move to the city to be closer to work and her new beau, Julie decides to take matters into her own hands.
She runs, illegally, hoping to find and hide with the Volksgeist, a loose-knit culture of tramps, hoboes, senior citizens, artists, and never-do-wells who have elected to ride out the end of the world in their campers and converted vans, constantly on the move over the back roads of America.
In late twenty-first century America, under 25’s have lost virtually all rights. They are bound to their parents with no agency in their own lives. Two years before her 25th birthday, Julie runs away and seeks a new life on the open road.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one – but once I started reading, I found it difficult to put down. Although the author didn’t shy away from the bleak reality of the world he envisioned, the characters were almost all ones I wanted to root for.
This is an immersive dystopian road-trip through a future America packed with a diverse array of characters, with both good and ill intentions.
At various points, I was reminded of Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven and J. Scott Coatsworth’s Dropnauts – yet it was always fresh and true to itself.
SI CLARKE is a misanthrope who lives in Deptford, sarf ees London. She shares her home with her partner and an assortment of waifs and strays. As someone who’s neurodivergent, an immigrant, and the proud owner of an invisible disability, she strives to present a diverse array of characters in her stories. And she loves reading about diverse characters too.