Speculative Fiction fit for the Trump era?
September 12, 2017 1:15 PM   Subscribe

American War - The Mandibles - The Plot Against America - Underground Airlines - The Handmaid's Tale

I've read and really enjoyed all these books this year. Is there anything else out there in this vein that I might enjoy?
posted by fso to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Parable of the Sower - Octavia Butler
posted by Poldo at 1:20 PM on September 12, 2017 [4 favorites]

It Can't Happen Here - Sinclair Lewis
posted by Chrysostom at 1:25 PM on September 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

I loved The Mandibles. I read these recently and found them to scratch the same itch:

Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Also, it's not truly apocalyptic but it had that feeling reading it; Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers.
posted by stellaluna at 1:40 PM on September 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Jack Womack: "Random Acts of Senseless Violence"
posted by Petersondub at 1:44 PM on September 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

"If This Goes On—" is a science fiction novella by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, first serialized in 1940 in Astounding Science-Fiction and revised and expanded for inclusion in the 1953 collection Revolt in 2100. See Wiki (spoilers).

OMG Heinlein was prophetic.
posted by JimN2TAW at 2:06 PM on September 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

On Such a Full Sea, V for Vendetta, Riddley Walker
posted by latkes at 3:37 PM on September 12, 2017

Oh, The Yiddish Policemen's Union
posted by latkes at 3:38 PM on September 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ah, keep thinking of more! My favorite antidote to the Trump Era right now is Fire on the Mountain. Another more positive take is Starhawk's The Fifth Sacred Thing.
posted by latkes at 3:42 PM on September 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

High-Rise. Published in 1975.

(It was made into a movie, released in 2016 and starring Tom Hiddleston. Don't bother. The movie is basically two hours of Hiddleston posing.)
posted by fuse theorem at 7:16 PM on September 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Hey, I wrote American War. Thanks so much for reading it. (For whatever it's worth, I finished the manuscript in the summer of 2015, a few weeks before that snake oil jar of a man announced his candidacy).

I don't know if any of these books fit your criteria exactly, but here are a few that come to mind:

The Power by Naomi Alderman. A brilliant book about a world in which the imbalance of gender power and fear is reversed. Going to be a TV series in the next few years, I think.

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter is about a mother and her child trying to survive in a flooded world. It's beautifully written and hasn't gotten as much attention in North America as it should because it doesn't come out here for another two months. But it will (also, the cover is gorgeous).

Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi. A re-imagining of Frankenstein; this time, the monster is composed of the limbs of Iraqi victims of post-U.S.-invasion violence. It's a much quieter novel than the premise would suggest, and there's very little bang-bangness or boo! scares, but it's a fierce, unapologetic book. The English translation comes out in paperback in January.

A People’s History Of The Vampire Uprising by Raymond Villareal. This thing doesn't come out until next year, and I only heard about it because I happened to run into the editor who bought it, but I suspect it's going to be a big blockbuster when it finally appears. It's supposed to be a kind of oral history of a vampire uprising in America, told through various archival documents and points of view. I think it might end up being too World War Z for me, but I'm secretly hoping it does that Starship Troopers thing where it takes people a while to figure out that it's not really about what it says it's about.

And finally, an oldie. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. One day, the Russians launch a whole bunch of nukes, decimating the United States. The novel tells the story of a bunch of survivors in a small town in middle Florida. It was written in the late 50s, and it's a goddamn nightmare on issues of gender and race, but worth reading for the author's insane attention to the smallest details of post-apocalyptic life -- some of which would probably still be relevant if a nuclear war took place today.
posted by Fireland at 5:28 PM on September 13, 2017 [5 favorites]

Thanks for all the great replies, everyone! I've got a bunch of these on hold at the library now. And happy to see that the author of 'American War' is on here! I can't recommend it highly enough to everyone. It'll sit with you, disturb you, make you extrapolate from this current moment and wonder what the hell is going to be happening in the US 50 years from now.
posted by fso at 12:23 PM on December 27

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