Surreal and satiric, this collection of short fiction pays a mesmerizing visit to the shadowy zone that lies between present everyday life and a perilous near future that is frighteningly tangible. In "The Wall of America," the Department of Homeland Security has put up a border wall between the U.S. and Canada, but the NEA has plans to turn it into the world's largest art gallery. After the Rapture, working-class life for "A Family of the Post-Apocalypse" is not as different as one might imagine, despite the occasional plague of biker-gang locusts. Between addiction and art is "Ringtime," where a criminal is trapped in a recursive compulsion to visit other people's memories while he is forced to record his own for an eager audience. A Somali schoolgirl living in post-WWIII Minneapolis goes on a bloody crusade to rid her town of a familiar predator, one who might just be a monster, in "White Man." Vivid, starkly imagined, and strikingly articulate, this disquieting compilation is a journey that skillfully straddles the line between absurdity and irony.
Used availability for Thomas M Disch's The Wall of America
October 2008 : USA Paperback