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Hardcover Futureland : Nine Stories of an Imminent World Book

ISBN: 0446529540

ISBN13: 9780446529549

Futureland : Nine Stories of an Imminent World

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. With a keen eye toward current political trends, Walter Mosley projects a near-future United States in which justice is blind in at least one eye and the ranks of the disenfranchised have swollen to...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

the dark mirror of reality

This is a masterwork that far surpasses much of William Gibson's writing. Unlike much SF that obsesses about Trekkie-cool details of "realism" in a purely hypothetical technological tomorrow, Futureland goes straight to the point: we are racing heedlessly into a future where technology is a tool for the dark side of humanity to control everyone else. And it does so with an artist's brush, mixing subtle shapes and colors into a sometimes nightmarish surrealism that serves not only to wow people with sheer imagination, but more importantly, to bring the essentials of the world into glaring focus. The darkly gleaming picture that emerges from this distorted world is not much different from today - the tools are simply more advanced. With the paranoia in the world today about terrorism and nuclear threats, we are not that far away.As far as race is concerned - the people who feel threatened by insinuations that black people are not treated fairly in today's world should seriously examine their assumptions. In Futureland, there is no hardcoded institutional racial discrimination - no Jim Crow laws - just like today. In Futureland, overt racism only comes from individuals, not government - just like today. In Futureland, most of the people in power are individuals who are racist yet believe that there is a level playing field - just like today. In Futureland, the cumulative effect of hegemony and class biases is a devastating one for blacks - just like today. Every single issue raised in this book is really one about people who happen to use technology, not technology. That makes some people nervous, but that is the genius of Futureland; its sharp focus on the essentials does not give quarter for intellectual complacency.And all that while weaving a brilliant tapestry of interwoven stories.

Good solid science fiction

I came to Mosley's science fiction without having ever experienced his mysteries (can't stand mysteries). As an long-time, avid science fiction reader, I found much to like in Futureland.Each of Mosley's stories contained for me the two elements I love finding in well-written science-fiction: excellent characters and the exploration of an idea. I found none of Mosley's stories lacking in originality or interest.Written in the tradition of Cordwainer Smith (see, "The Rediscovery of Man"), the stories weave in and out of each other, old characters reappering in new stories, each story moving the book towards a definate point (if not conclusion).Try this book, I think you'll really enjoy it.

A very intriguing world

I have been reading Walter Mosley's detective stories for years and have really enjoyed them, especially the Easy Rawlins. My mother from Florida recommended them to me. Through Rawlins, Mosley reveals an interesting and compelling world in a way that makes you want to know more. When I heard he had a "science fiction" collection of short stories out I was at first skeptical. I am not a true fan of the typical sci-fi stuff. All those other worldly names, places and fantastic devices sound like so much gobbly-gook. Sargon Lord of the Twelfth Moon of Argolancia piloting his nuclear hyper-drive thermo-ion teleporter through the blue ice dust clouds of the Fengali Sector just doesn't play with me. I tune it out. But Futureland is something completely different.The story comes first. Each story has a beginning, middle and end. Interesting, believable characters. Love stories, good against evil stories and murder mysteries. The futuristic aspects are just intertwined into the stories and do not overwhelm the purpose which is to tell a good story. While we don't know exactly how long in the future these stories come from, enough is the same that you could imagine Futureland as one possible evolution from where we are today. Some stories build on characters from others, so it is best to read the book from front to back. While the stories are enjoyable separately, together they illuminate a captivating, but very disturbing world. Intelligence is considered a national natural resource and the most promising young minds are compelled to serve the state. Body parts can be sold for massive amounts of money on the black market. Corporations control everything including countries. Today's Wall Street mergers and acquisitions are taking to the extreme as whole cities and even countries are bought and sold. New York skyscrapers are 300 stories tall with the classes distributed between the top, middle and bottom. Below is the wasteland of Common Ground where you go when you are unemployed and sleep in a tube like some Japanese businessmen today. If you are not employed you loose most privileges of citizenship. You screw up too many times and you become "White Noise", bereft of all privileges, any possibility to regain them and forgotten by everybody. This world is revealed layer by layer through the daily lives of the characters in each story. It is much like learning about another city by reading a mystery novel set there. The conflict and challenges of the characters are engaging you as a reader and the backdrop of their world is adding spice. That is the way is should be. Very satisfying. I will probably read them all again in 10 years and see if we are still heading in Mosley's predicted direction or have found another path. While entertained by Mosley's vision of the future, I hope we find another way.

Mosley Scares Me -- And He Does It Well!

Dystopia seems to be the word for unhappy visions of the future. As I understand it, Mr. Mosley is well-known for the Easy Rawlins novels, and one previous sci-fi effort, Blue Light (with which I'm not familiar). However, I've re-read Futureland three times now, and I'm here to tell you that Mosley is the real thing.I have been reading science fiction on and off for the last 40 years, and no one has quite frightened me like Walter Mosley has. I'm not talking about squealing at a horror film, or on the downslide of a roller coaster. I'm talking about thinking, "Oh, my God, this has got to be the way it is all going to happen!"So what do you need this for? Well, if you like to do some thinking along with your sci-fi reading, and certainly if you enjoy seeing tough (though not always "good") characters bucking the odds, you'll want to hear what Mr. Mosley has to say.He begins the journey with Ptolemy, the genius child, who might just be tuning in God on his home-made radio, and takes us to meet a woman boxer who can beat any man, a mad doctor who likes to wager for high stakes, the prisoners of Angels Island, and more. The background is there is 3D and vibrant color; you can almost smell it.The jacket says "nine stories of an imminent world". This is one future world I hope remains fiction.

Intelligent and dark look at the near future

In the not-too-distant future, major corporations have taken over the functions of the state and most workers have been reduced to a perpetual treadmill between subsistence work and a barely livable unemployment. For criminals and anyone who opposes the omnipresent corporate state, punishment is swift, certain, and enforced with dispassionate unconcern for rights or human dignity. Author Walter Mosley's nine inter-related stories tell of this near-future and, especially, of the position of blacks in a supposedly racially integrated world. While occasional anarchistic resistance can slow the forces of capitalism run beyond any rules (and FUTURELAND is filled with stories of this resistance), the overall tendency of history cannot be stopped. Although FUTURELAND was written before the events of 9/11, the encroachments on liberties that Mosley forecast in these stories appear far less paranoid and far more near at hand than they could have to the average reader when Mosley wrote them. Readers do not have to agree with Mosley's dark message, nor share his fears about neo-Nazis ready to cleanse the world of non-white blood, to see the frightening possibilities that Mosley shares. In the initial story in this series, Whispers in the Dark, Mosley adopts a dialect-heavy style that makes reading difficult. Stick with FUTURELAND. The payoff is worth the effort and Mosley's later stories are far more approachable, from an ease of reading perspective, if even darker from their take on the world.
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