From time to time it comes to remind that fiction is not always a genre for escapists seeking to escape from reality. On the contrary, fantastic metaphors perfectly help to overcome current problems, to look at them from a new angle. And a particularly popular in this regard is the “viewing angle”, which brings the situation to absurdity. That is, fantastic satire. The authors who have chosen this genre are pleased with both a sense of humor and a rich imagination. And here are some examples of books that will allow you to laugh heartily at what in reality can be sad or scary.
“Country of Quality 2.0” Mark-Uwe Kling
Like the first book in this series, the new “Country of Quality” explores the “thoughtlessness” of human society in a situation where you can shift the responsibility to someone. Some topics are relegated to the background or presented through a new prism: the helplessness of a small person in a huge debugged (seemingly) mechanism or the categorical nature of the consumer society. For example, residents of the Country of Quality have recognized that intelligent technology may also need a psychotherapist. But this, of course, becomes a cause for irony.
The country of Quality continues to live by the laws of ratings and algorithms. From the first book, we are immersed in a world where all choices – from shopping to finding a life partner – are made for a human machine. Of course, there is room for maneuver, but the absurdity and humor of the situation is that no one needs it.
In the new novel, the population of the Country of Quality has reconsidered a number of views, but has not become more aware. And blindly following trends can create a lot of problems, even if the idea was initially good. So, when the situation is left without the watchful eye of the newly elected president, everything begins to roll downhill, and quite quickly. This novel has more storylines, more perspectives, and it enriches the list of current issues that Kling can cover. Even global world politics has been injected, where very much is said and very little is decided when it is really needed.
“Formerly known as America” Reed King
In the 2080s, America collapsed, splitting into separate territories, certainly subordinated to corporations and often at war with each other. In these scenery, against the background of ecological collapse, Reed King creates the story of the classic “quest to save the world”, making it absolutely insane. Formerly known as America, the book is unceremonious, vicious and hooligan. The author does not focus on a single problem, instead twisting all possible risks of humanity to the limit. And at the same time he mixes “The Wizard of Oz”, “Hitchhiking in the Galaxy” and “Mad Max” in an explosive postmodern cocktail.
The main character’s name is Truckee Wallace, a teenager who worked in a factory yesterday, was fond of video games and thought about where to find a girl. And today, the “president” and head of a local corporation says that the Trucks must take a GMO-speaking goat to the other side of the continent to confront the supervillain and save what is left of civilization. Will Truckee be delighted with such an incredible adventure? No. But the call to travel on Campbell is unstoppable, and now the Thracians, the goat and several of their sudden companions are already opposed to all the horrors of America at the end of the XXI century. It is good that the hero remembers well the latest updated edition of the “Guide to the swindler in the territories formerly known as America”, and then their little team would definitely be unhappy.
“Eternal Rabbit” by Jasper Fforde
Purely British satire, which is dedicated to the theme of humanity and acceptance. Fifty years before the plot began, there was a Spontaneous Humanization. Representatives of several species of animals have suddenly increased, gained self-awareness, and generally came to a form in which they can integrate into human society. Why this happened – no one will ever know, that’s not the point. The fact is that among these animals were 18 rabbits. And so, a couple of decades later, they already make up a significant percentage of the world’s population. The stage of surprised delight is over. Now people can only think that next to them lives another species that encroaches on their rights and benefits.
The hero of the story is an unimpressive man Peter Knox, a resident of a prosperous suburb and an employee of Krolnadzor. He tries not to think about difficult and controversial topics, such as whether rabbits need a separate ghetto, where everyone will be under supervision. Or how appropriate the death penalty is in modern society if the crime was committed by a rabbit. Or why they can no longer go to university… But when the Rabbits become his neighbors, the situation inevitably gets worse. After all, the inhabitants of the prosperous suburbs did not expect such a neighborhood, and Peter Knox was chosen for the role of a diplomat who should convey the idea of ”leave, or it will be worse.”
Yes, this is a story about tolerance. Absolutely absurd and rather ambiguous, at least in the sense that the author does not give the “correct answer”.
Material prepared edited by fanzon intellectual fiction publishing house.