By Reed King
The current partisan drift in American politics has given rise to a number of books set in a future Disunited States.
Most often the break-up takes the form of a simple red state-blue state split, as in Omar El Akkad’s American War and Neal Stephenson’s Fall. In FKA USA, however, the fragmentation is more advanced.
The aftermath of a mid-twenty-first century extinction event known as the Great Die-Off has led to political breakdown. Truckee Wallace must journey across the resulting patchwork-quilt of statelets of what was Formerly-Known-As the U.S.A. on a comic-book adventure involving a talking goat named Barnaby, an android who wants to be human, and a lobotomized former convict.
Reed King (a pseudonym) has put a lot of effort into building the scaffolding for this zany world, including extensive footnotes and appendixes outlining the history of the calamitous future. What makes the story work though is its more traditional journey narrative. FKA USA is a satirical Wizard of Oz road trip through a post-apocalyptic fairground, and well worth the ride.