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Publisher's Summary

A glittering landscape of twenty-five speculative stories that challenge oppression and envision new futures for America - from N. K. Jemisin, Charles Yu, Jamie Ford, G. Willow Wilson, Charlie Jane Anders, Hugh Howey, and more. 

In these tumultuous times, in our deeply divided country, many people are angry, frightened, and hurting. Knowing that imagining a brighter tomorrow has always been an act of resistance, editors Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams invited an extraordinarily talented group of writers to share stories that explore new forms of freedom, love, and justice. 

They asked for narratives that would challenge oppressive American myths, release us from the chokehold of our history, and give us new futures to believe in. They also asked that the stories be badass. The result is this spectacular collection of 25 tales that blend the dark and the light, the dystopian and the utopian. 

These tales are vivid with struggle and hardship - whether it’s the othered and the terrorized, or dragonriders and covert commandos - but these characters don’t flee, they fight.Thrilling, inspiring, and a sheer joy to listen to, A People’s Future of the United States is a gift for anyone who believes in our power to dream a just world.

AUDIO TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Introduction by Victor LaValle, read by the author
The Bookstore at the End of America, by Charlie Jane Anders, read by Kyla Garcia
Our Aim Is Not to Die, by A. Merc Rustad, read by Dani Martineck
The Wall, by Lizz Huerta, read by Roxana Ortega
Read After Burning, by Maria Dahvana Headley, read by William DeMeritt
Chapter 5: Disruption and Continuity [excerpted], by Malka Older, read by Prentice Onayemi
It Was Saturday Night, I Guess That Makes It All Right, by Sam J. Miller, read by Paul Boehmer
Attachment Disorder, by Tananarive Due, read by Kyla Garcia
By His Bootstraps, by Ashok K. Banker, read by William DeMeritt
Riverbed, by Omar El Akkad, read by Soneela Nankani
What Maya Found There, by Daniel José Older, read by Roxana Ortega
The Referendum, by Lesley Nneka Arimah, read by Adenrele Ojo
Calendar Girls, by Justina Ireland, read by N'Jameh Camara
The Synapse Will Free Us from Ourselves, by Violet Allen, read by Vikas Adam
O.1, by Gabby Rivera, read by a full cast (Public Broadcast, Falak Alfayed: Vikas Adam; Mala: Soneela Nankani; Deviana Ortiz: Roxana Ortega; Key: William DeMeritt; Orion: Adenrele Ojo; Luz: Kyla Garcia)
The Blindfold, by Tobias S. Buckell, read by Prentice Onayemi
No Algorithms in the World, by Hugh Howey, read by Darrell Dennis
Esperanto, by Jamie Ford, read by N'Jameh Camara
ROME, by G. Willow Wilson, read by Soneela Nankani
Give Me Cornbread or Give Me Death, by N. K. Jemisin, read by Adenrele Ojo
Good News Bad News, by Charles Yu, read by a full cast (Narrators: Prentice Onayemi & Dani Martineck; Elizabeth Chang: Nancy Wu; Darren Chang: Darrell Dennis; Cynthia Rodriguez: N’Jameh Camara; Bert Newsom: Paul Boehmer; Emma Chang: Kyla Garcia; Nicholas Chang: Nancy Wu)
What You Sow, by Kai Cheng Thom, read by Nancy Wu
A History of Barbed Wire, by Daniel H. Wilson, read by Darrell Dennis
The Sun in Exile, by Catherynne M. Valente, read by Nancy Wu
Harmony, by Seanan McGuire, read by Dani Martineck
Now Wait for This Week, by Alice Sola Kim, read by Soneela Nankani 

©2019 John Joseph Adams and Victor LaValle (P)2019 Random House Audio

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating and Diverse Exploration of Reality

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I really enjoyed the very diverse voices found within this collection, exploring so many different “What if...?” scenarios. An amusing, thoughtful, cautionary, and eye opening journey.

4 people found this helpful

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Wonderful Trip

I loved this book and will probably read it again. There is too much to talk about, because SO much and many peoples were featured, but 0.1 and Harmony were my favorites. They both made me cry.

3 people found this helpful

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Not one American Dream, but many.

Using current events as a jumping off point, these stories spin out possible permutations of our future. There isn’t one American dream, but many. Some are deeply grounded in science, some skewer social and political fears. And some let us see what it’ll look like when things get better.
You’re going to meet so many great characters in this series. From the book-seller’s daughter trying to get her neighbors to look each other in the eye to the family giving birth to the first baby born in a decade, from the curandera fighting the Empire to the librarian of stories written in tattoos, the people in these stories will open your eyes to all kinds of ways to experience life. By turns uplifting, bloody strange, heartbreaking and joyful, this story collection touches on so many things: gender relations, race, hope, the need to feel safe, and the need to feel dignity among them. There are versions of America in this series that I dread, and versions of America that I long for. There’s one commentary on a certain mango-hued nutjob and his cough social philosophy that involves a quantum genetic drug dropped into the water supply, and it cracked me right up. Give Me Corn Bread Or Give Me Death is utterly fascinating and weirdly believable…though it does involve training dragons with siracha.
You can imagine that twenty-five authors have some pretty different styles. But these works have been beautifully curated to balance one another in form and pacing. Some are full of a creeping horror. Some are fast and brutal. And some have the gentle banality of a son trying to tell his father that it’s okay that everyone has a good life now without working themselves to death for it. All of them will take you somewhere.
We’re at a crossroads in history. This book reminds us that we can take a turn into the dark or the light. And wherever we go, we’ll be taking our whole selves and all our facets along for the ride: good and bad, kind and cruel, genetic and historical.
Strap in.

1 person found this helpful

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A Peak at Futures Here

This is an emaculate collection of diverse stories centered on diverse identities. Narration is impeccable. The breadth and qualities of the stories is a wonderland of … what if … based on what has been experienced and what we might know.

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Fascinating!

I couldn’t put this one down! There were so many beautiful, hurrying, heartbreaking, and downright just brilliant tales in here. Everyone should listen to this, and use it as a warning of what could be if we don’t start paying attention and do something about the state of the world.

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Don’t bother

This has nothing to do with Zinn’s work and the comparison is insulting. It’s overtly politically myopic to the point of embarrassing cringe. I am extremely liberal minded and loved Zinn’s work and the obvious token references were still too much for me.