America City by Chris Beckett

America City

America, one century on: a warmer climate is causing vast movements of people. Droughts, floods and hurricanes force entire populations to simply abandon their homes. Tensions are mounting between north and south, and some northern states are threatening to close their borders against homeless fellow-Americans from the south.Against this backdrop, an ambitious young Britis...

Title:America City
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

America City Reviews

  • Ursula

    This is a frighteningly possible scenario, well along the path to an apocalyptic future.

    Chris Beckett writes intelligently about the social and political forces in a society reaching boiling point. Surprisingly, the technological innovations are almost taken for granted although their effects are thoughtfully described. More in focus are the cultural and psychological mechanisms for swaying and even reversing opinions in both individuals and 'tribes'.

    The characters are real and diverse, spread

    This is a frighteningly possible scenario, well along the path to an apocalyptic future.

    Chris Beckett writes intelligently about the social and political forces in a society reaching boiling point. Surprisingly, the technological innovations are almost taken for granted although their effects are thoughtfully described. More in focus are the cultural and psychological mechanisms for swaying and even reversing opinions in both individuals and 'tribes'.

    The characters are real and diverse, spread across North America and every demographic. Perhaps the truth of Chris Beckett's story lies in its dissection of motives and a gradual realisation that ordinary people can be horribly callous and selfish when their way of life is threatened.

  • Kate

    Fascinating, elegantly written and rather frightening look at the reaction of politics to climate change in 22nd-century America.

    A review:

  • buzylizzie

    In America City Chris Beckett gives us a frighteningly convincing vision of the future in a 22nd century world suffering the devastating effects of man-made climate change.

    Most of the action takes place in North America, much of the rest of the world having descended into chaos and anarchy. Within the US extreme weather is forcing large-scale migration north and east creating tensions and hostility in the receiving areas.

    Politicians and pressure groups manoeuvre to enlist support for their prop

    In America City Chris Beckett gives us a frighteningly convincing vision of the future in a 22nd century world suffering the devastating effects of man-made climate change.

    Most of the action takes place in North America, much of the rest of the world having descended into chaos and anarchy. Within the US extreme weather is forcing large-scale migration north and east creating tensions and hostility in the receiving areas.

    Politicians and pressure groups manoeuvre to enlist support for their proposed and probably only temporary solutions, often using morally compromising tactics which include sophisticated methods of generating fake news.

    We also see events through the eyes of individuals trying to cope with the upheaval in their own lives. The characters are believable and mostly engaging and sympathetic so it is easy to identify with their dilemmas. We may also be challenged to examine the stories we tell ourselves to justify our own choices, since many of the themes explored are relevant today.

    There are some great futuristic touches, imagining how language, music and technology will develop.

    This is a thoroughly satisfying and thought-provoking read, with an engaging story skilfully told.

  • Lauren

    This book, although classed as such, did not read like Science Fiction to me but more like Science Fact. The political climate portrayed in the book is so close to our own, it made for quite a scary read. I really questioned the characters true intentions throughout this book, and was engrossed in Becketts observations of our very human traits.

    This book made me evaluate my own views on our planet, how things are currently progressing, and also what could I do, or has the human race already set

    This book, although classed as such, did not read like Science Fiction to me but more like Science Fact. The political climate portrayed in the book is so close to our own, it made for quite a scary read. I really questioned the characters true intentions throughout this book, and was engrossed in Becketts observations of our very human traits.

    This book made me evaluate my own views on our planet, how things are currently progressing, and also what could I do, or has the human race already set itself on the path to where this book leads?

    I could clearly see the events in this book happening in 100 years when it is set, as a lot of it is happening right now in our current time. It is human nature to perpetuate these values, and human nature to protect ourselves and our own when things get tough or you're brought against a common enemy.

    An engrossing read, and a highly probable (and frightening!) prediction of our future.

  • Blodeuedd Finland

    I can totally see this happening, totally. I hope a certain president do not get ideas from it...

    The world has gone to hell. And some people still doubt climate change. Yup, I can see that too. The East coast is plagued by super storms. The west coast and inland is a dust bowl. Further south, oh there is nothing there but death and starvation. And the people up north do not want to take care of storm trash and dusters. Yes they might be fellow Amercians but to take them all in, hell no! Not that

    I can totally see this happening, totally. I hope a certain president do not get ideas from it...

    The world has gone to hell. And some people still doubt climate change. Yup, I can see that too. The East coast is plagued by super storms. The west coast and inland is a dust bowl. Further south, oh there is nothing there but death and starvation. And the people up north do not want to take care of storm trash and dusters. Yes they might be fellow Amercians but to take them all in, hell no! Not that rapist trash! I can totally see that happening, people looking out for nr 1. It is one thing to help a few, but when the half the country is unlivable...then that is another thing.

    And in steps Holly who gets a new job. She is a delicado or as she would have been called now, a snowflake. Yes it is a derogatory term. She will help Senator Slaymaker win the presidential race, and honestly, I wish Holly had never met him. Holly changes and at the end I do not like her. Or any American for that matter. I can not tell you what happens, but, still at the same time. Looking out for nr 1 is human nature. I get it.

    It does make you sad. Because this future is way too real. If we do not stop global warming (eh what warming, fake news!) then this is out future and the world burns.

    It's one of those books that make you think, and fear the future too.

  • Valerian70

    Although billed as a science fiction novel, I am not entirely sure that it really is one. Okay, it is set approximately 100 years in the future and we do have some evolved technology:

    Drig - Transport system that reads like a cross between a helicopter and the S.H.I.E.L.D. transporter from Avengers Assemble.

    Cristal - PDA/smartphone/general communication device.

    Jeenee - Personal digital assistant.

    Whisperstream - The lovechild of Twitter and Facebook. Fortunately still appears to have cat videos.

    B

    Although billed as a science fiction novel, I am not entirely sure that it really is one. Okay, it is set approximately 100 years in the future and we do have some evolved technology:

    Drig - Transport system that reads like a cross between a helicopter and the S.H.I.E.L.D. transporter from Avengers Assemble.

    Cristal - PDA/smartphone/general communication device.

    Jeenee - Personal digital assistant.

    Whisperstream - The lovechild of Twitter and Facebook. Fortunately still appears to have cat videos.

    Broadscreen - mass communication device, basically a television.

    The best one though is driverless cars that actually work.

    Maybe the best bit of the technological aspect of the book is that Chris Beckett does not explain any of it. Much like Philip K Dick he leaves you to draw your own conclusions about the intent of the technology and how is applies within the wider fictional world. Not quite sure why this led me to list it and describe it but this is why I read not write!

    The premise of the novel is that due to massive global warming the planet is being besieged by extreme storms and weather events. This has led to deserts in the Southern part of the country and the Eastern Seaboard is known as the Storm Coast. Mass migration by the "storm trash" and the "dust trash" is a major issue and is set to implode the United States of America.

    America City follows Holly and Richard, a pair of delicados, and the efforts of Stephen Slaymaker to become the next president of the USA. Holly works in PR and has been headhunted by Slaymaker for his campaign to encourage government funded migration to the Northern States - a particularly unpleasant prospect for the Americans already living there.

    Herein lies the reason why I think this is not a true science fiction story and is more a novel about the all-pervading reach of Social Media and how it, and the people behind it seeding their agendas into fact, manipulates us all. We already know that hat we see on our feeds is representative only of our beliefs and not necessarily a true world view and Mr Beckett has expounded on this and shows just how easy we can be manipulated by being told things we "want" to hear. He also shows just how far political campaigns will go to earn that 1% uplift in their polls - not really a surprise if you have ever watched any election coverage.

    This is a well crafted novel that feels more like a prediction of what is to come rather than a "mere" story. The characters are rounded, especially the cameos from the displaced sections of the stormies and the dusties. The mechanics of the political campaign itself are actually pretty harrowing as you realise just how far some people will go in the pursuit of power and it does lend itself to conspiracy theories for the current political climate. The global warming tale is secondary to the politics but is very much a bedrock of the tale.

    If Science Fiction is not your genre then do not be put off, this is not your standard, formulaic Sci-Fi. If Science Fiction is your genre then you will enjoy this book, particularly because it bypasses the normal tropes.

    I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK FROM READERS FIRST IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.

  • Martin Turner

    Although this is described as science fiction (and strictly falls under that particular banner), this is more realistically a forecast of how the world, in particular the United Staes of America could turn out in a 100 years or so due to the effects of global warming, the growth of social media in one form or another, power hungry leaders and the almost primitive grabbing of any means of survival. Chris Beckett paints a frightening vision of the future which is not that different from today in t

    Although this is described as science fiction (and strictly falls under that particular banner), this is more realistically a forecast of how the world, in particular the United Staes of America could turn out in a 100 years or so due to the effects of global warming, the growth of social media in one form or another, power hungry leaders and the almost primitive grabbing of any means of survival. Chris Beckett paints a frightening vision of the future which is not that different from today in the way that people run their lives. There is a greater dependence on robot technology in the workplace, but climate change has resulted in the southern half of USA becoming virtually uninhabitable whilst the wastelands of the frozen northern parts of the globe become much more suited to man's needs. There is thus a top-led rush to these northern parts and the ensuing problems that could arise are described beautifully in this forward thinking vision. There are various messages in here about doing more today in preparation for tomorrow, rather than brushing it under the carpet. How will our descendants look upon us historically? A really good story - was the fictional US President depicted herein influenced by one D. Trump one wonders - with an important message. Recommended for world leaders!

  • Scott

    I received a free copy from readers first in exchange for an honest review.

    Billed as sci-fi set 100 years in the future, it seems a little too real and close to home, it could almost be happening today. The USA is suffering from the effects of global warming, super storms batter the coasts and farmlands are drying up. The refugees from these are collectively labeled storm-trash and dust trash, and they are fleeing their homes to find a better place to live, but they aren't wanted.

    There are talk

    I received a free copy from readers first in exchange for an honest review.

    Billed as sci-fi set 100 years in the future, it seems a little too real and close to home, it could almost be happening today. The USA is suffering from the effects of global warming, super storms batter the coasts and farmlands are drying up. The refugees from these are collectively labeled storm-trash and dust trash, and they are fleeing their homes to find a better place to live, but they aren't wanted.

    There are talks of building walls to keep them in their own states (sound familiar with a certain president today). Then an up and coming senator called Slaymaker (a Dickens villain if ever i heard one) makes a run for president, on the platform of colonising Canada - so much unused green space that could fit all the refugees, and they end up creating three new super cities.

    Obviously this doesn't go down well with the Canadians either, they are essentially being invaded, and they start to fight back, attacking the new cities.

    Chapters alternate between character viewpoints, from the senators right hand woman to some of the refugees throughout their travels and their thoughts on the senator/future president. It is also a scary look into how people can be manipulated through social media, again something all to relevant today.

  • Ian

    America City is a tale about Earth in the future, ravished by global warming and the subsequent catastrophic results. It's set in America and Canada but there are a few nods to what's going on elsewhere in the world. In the US, the southern States have become badly hit, to the point more and more people are having to up roots and move further north. An enormous wall has been built between Mexico and America to keep residents of the former country out, who have already been brought to ruin and ar

    America City is a tale about Earth in the future, ravished by global warming and the subsequent catastrophic results. It's set in America and Canada but there are a few nods to what's going on elsewhere in the world. In the US, the southern States have become badly hit, to the point more and more people are having to up roots and move further north. An enormous wall has been built between Mexico and America to keep residents of the former country out, who have already been brought to ruin and are keen to escape to a better life. The northern states resent the mass migration from the south, and our tale concerns Holly, a 'delicado' (modern day liberal) who, to the chagrin of her friends, finds herself working for right wing president elect Slaymaker. Although disagreeing with many of his policies, she believes his plans to help the displaced are the best, and with him works out a plan to convince Canada to give up her vast acres of land to Americans. However, many Canadians aren't so keen on the idea.

    America City, despite being set a couple hundred years in the future, is a very topical book. Not only in its warnings about the threat of global warming, but in how it parallels the concerns many have with mass migration and the way politicians and the media lie and connive to win people's minds. In an America where Trump has singled out immigrants and the UK has voted to leave the EU, with the media hyping up open borders as a clear and present threat, it's easy to see what influenced Beckett to write this book. A lot of the success Holly achieves is through putting untruths and exaggerations out where they're easily accessible, in the 'whisperstream', a form of internet/social media that the populace at large spend much of their time in, mirroring many of the more underhanded form of politics today.

    It's a thought provoking and engaging book, not afraid to ask questions of either side, and extremely well paced, easy to pick up and difficult to put down. The characters felt very real to me, Beckett was able to flesh out their lives and relationships in a way which maintained my interest in them as much as the story at large. I particularly enjoyed reading about Holly's struggles to balance her work and social life, with most of her friends disagreeing with who she was working with and what she was doing, how she disliked many of the people she worked with but still felt frustrated with some of her friends who talked good intentions without backing them up. As tensions come to a boil towards the finale, there's a sense of inevitability but disappointment about how we got there...in truth Beckett's vision of the future is a depressing one, one in which we've learnt nothing and are doomed to repeat the same mistakes, hold the same prejudices...but arguably a sadly too true one. Highly recommended.

  • Jack Deighton

    Twenty-second Century USA. The sea-level has risen, superstorms regularly batter the eastern seaboard, drought ravages the southwest. Resentment from within northern states towards those fleeing the environmental disasters is building. In the wider world polar bears, giraffes, blue whales, rhinoceroses and dolphins are extinct. Right-wing Senator Stephen Slaymaker, a former haulage contractor who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, worries that the country will fall apart under the strain of in

    Twenty-second Century USA. The sea-level has risen, superstorms regularly batter the eastern seaboard, drought ravages the southwest. Resentment from within northern states towards those fleeing the environmental disasters is building. In the wider world polar bears, giraffes, blue whales, rhinoceroses and dolphins are extinct. Right-wing Senator Stephen Slaymaker, a former haulage contractor who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, worries that the country will fall apart under the strain of internal migration. Meanwhile a wall keeps out Mexicans and other possible migrants from the south.

    Nevertheless some seem still to be welcome. Holly Peacock is an immigrant from Britain who has left-wing beliefs. She works in affecting public opinion via the whisperstream – a kind of updated internet accessed via devices known as cristals which contain AI personalities called jeenees. Think of her job as nudge politics and fake news taken to altogether different levels. She is attracted by Slaymaker’s desire to accommodate the internal refugees in the north. They meet and Slaymaker convinces her to work with him on his plan to bring about accommodation between the states, some of whom have begun arguing for border controls within the US.

    Beckett tells his story mainly via the viewpoints of Holly and her husband Richard but occasionally intersperses their views with those of some of the people displaced by the storms or the drought. The Britain Holly has left seems a particularly dark place but isn’t much fleshed out as Beckett’s focus is on the happenings in the USA. He only alludes to British conditions via references to her family back home.

    Air travel in this future is by machines called drigs (I assume a shortening of dirigible) but they seem no slower than jet aircraft. The political parties in the US are supposed to be different from our day – an (unelaborated) event called the Tyranny lies between now and then – but Slaymaker’s Freedom Party might as well be the Republicans and the Unity Party the Democrats. At the start of the novel the incumbent President is a woman from the Unity Party. (Is a woman US President perhaps the most Science-Fictional thing about this?)

    Beckett’s scenario speaks to our time as Slaymaker was a climate change denier - he even argued against Williams’s ameliorative efforts to construct machines to remove carbon dioxide from the air as being pointless - and the topic of influencing voters in non-transparent ways acquired even more resonance during the novel’s writing during 2016. However, the time-scale appears a mite elongated. The problems Beckett describes may be upon us in far sooner than one hundred years.

    Holly is instrumental in Slaymaker’s successful campaign, it is her idea that swings voters behind him. The unexpected consequences of its ramifications are less to her liking but it still (unlikely in my view) does not prevent her from continuing to work for the new President. Slaymaker is supposed to be charismatic and persuasive but more detachment might have been in order.

    I note that Beckett seems to have adopted Connie Willis’s habit of narrative deferment. Here it is not so irritating as with Willis but the gaps before fulfillment of the teases are still too long for my taste. In addition I found most of the characters not to be as rounded as in Beckett’s

    trilogy. But this is a different sort of book with more of a narrative drive. It might serve as a good introduction to Beckett’s work though and find him new readers.

Books Finder is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.