A wildly satirical look at life—and death—in the near-future, not-quite-unified superstate that was once the continent of Europe
Welcome to the future European Super-State—one continent united into a not-quite-homogenous whole. Numerous historic happenings and technological advances have ushered us to this new age of solidarity and prosperity, though it’s true that some of the past’s annoying problems still linger: global warming, terrorism, war, rape, murder, Alzheimer’s disease, environmental catastrophe.
Despite all the advances of this brave new tomorrow, it seems people haven’t changed one bit. The rich, beautiful, and celebrated still revel in their outrageous excesses. The government still stumbles about its business of governing while presidential assassins blithely go about theirs. As before, we gaze toward the stars with wonderment, and even now the brave crew of the spaceship Roddenberry is approaching Jupiter’s moon, Europa, ready to make first contact with members of a very tasty alien race. Back on Earth, the Insanatics, our digital conscience, attempt to keep us honest as we love, lie, covet, cheat, and watch our best-laid plans go predictably haywire—and the android slaves we keep locked away overnight in cupboards exchange perplexed reflections on the myriad foibles of their human masters.
One of the most acclaimed and accomplished science fiction writers of the twentieth century, Grand Master Brian W. Aldiss offers a colorful tapestry of what’s to come in his thoughtful and savagely funny take on the shape of tomorrow. Aldiss has seen the future . . . and it is ridiculous.