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After the Revolution: A Novel Paperback – May 10, 2022
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A chronicle of serendipitous alliances in a dystopia that's right around the corner.
What will the fracturing of the United States look like? After the Revolution is an edge-of-your-seat answer to that question. In the year 2070, twenty years after a civil war and societal collapse of the "old" United States, extremist militias battle in the crumbling Republic of Texas. As the violence spreads like wildfire and threatens the Free City of Austin, three unlikely allies will have to work together in an act of resistance to stop the advance of the forces of the Christian ethnostate known as the "Heavenly Kingdom."
Our three protagonists include Manny, a fixer that shuttles journalists in and out of war zones and provides footage for outside news agencies. Sasha is a teenage woman that joins the Heavenly Kingdom before she discovers the ugly truths behind their movement. Finally, we have Roland: A US Army vet kitted out with cyberware (including blood that heals major trauma wounds and a brain that can handle enough LSD to kill an elephant), tormented by broken memories, and 12,000 career kills under his belt. In the not-so-distant world Evans conjures we find advanced technology, a gender expansive culture, and a roving Burning Man-like city fueled by hedonistic excess. This powerful debut novel from Robert Evans is based on his investigative reporting from international conflict zones and on increasingly polarized domestic struggles. It is a vision of our very possible future.
"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
An Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller.| Learn more
From the Publisher
Artwork by Tavia Morra
"Evans never shies away from showing the ugly results of political unity failing, and he eschews picking easy targets for disapproval, giving equal time to a wide variety of viewpoints and social arrangements. Bullets fly furiously, but the emotional costs of violence are paid for in full. This is smart, pointed military sci-fi."
"A fierce book: leftist military science fiction of the first order, full of transhuman ultraviolence and all-too-human consequences."
—Cory Doctorow, author of Walkaway
"A world as deep as The Expanse, yet a story so close to home."
"Evans brings years of experience as a storyteller and a war correspondent into this remarkable debut. After the Revolution is somehow both realistic and fantastic, both hopeful and sobering. It is both an introspective analysis of human society and a roaring and readable adventure."
—Margaret Killjoy, author of A Country of Ghosts
“Robert’s debut novel kept me glued to the pages—a smart, well-crafted, action-packed military science fiction story that deals with the horrors of war through a trauma-informed lens.”
—Justine Norton-Kertson, editor-in-chief of Android Press and Solar Punk Magazine
"This is the type of novel where nudist cyborg super-soldiers ride robot horses into battle against bloodthirsty theocrats. Stuff blows up. More stuff blows up. Dudes kill other dudes and then even more chaos ensues. The action all works. Other authors have spilled a lot of ink over America’s internal contradictions, but After the Revolution is unique in its gusto."
—Joe Streckert, Portland Mercury
"After the Revolution is part of the rich vein of speculative fiction that considers Texas as its own republic…For writers interested in imagining how a diverse population might organize itself after being oppressed and ignored by those in power, our state is an ideal setting.”
—Susan Elizabeth Shepard, TexasMonthly
About the Author
Robert Evans, the author of A Brief History of Vice, has had an eclectic career as an investigative journalist reporting from war zones in Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine, and reporting on domestic radicalism in the US. He hosts the podcasts Behind the Bastards and It Could Happen Here for iHeartRadio, is a writer for the humor website Cracked, and an investigative journalist for Bellingcat. He resides in Portland, OR.
- Publisher : AK Press (May 10, 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 380 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1849354626
- ISBN-13 : 978-1849354622
- Item Weight : 1.35 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.75 x 1 x 8.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #113,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #160 in Humorous Science Fiction (Books)
- #171 in Dark Humor
- #1,132 in Dystopian Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I liked that one of the vehicles in the book (an APC) is called a Mattis. I smiled when I read this. This was a great little tidbit to throw in.
There were some authentic human reactions to fighting and violence. I appreciated that the characters had a variety of responses: some were fine with it (at least at the time), some loved it, and some it tore up inside.
There is a good bit of cursing in this book, and sex, although the sex is not graphic. There is quite a lot of recreational drug use, and I had to laugh at my teenage son recommending a book to his mom with this much drug use. (I was honestly impressed with the variety of drugs that were used. I'm a pharmacist and there was one drug I actually had to look up.)
My son told me he heard there is a sequel in the works. I hope this is true because I would love to read more in this world.
But I don't think that it did, because it's a "Military SF" book, and all of the military parts are poorly described. At many points, they make such little sense that they nearly infuriate me. The capabilities of "posthumans" were portrayed as basically godlike -- and were absolutely unrestrained by physics.
Consider this: At one point, a protagonist _punches_ through the top hatch of an APC. You don't need to study physics or materials science to see how impossible this should be. Consider the sectional density and velocity of a fist vs. a shaped charge or armor-piercing bullet, and consider what happens to bullets or shaped charges upon impact.
It sounds like nit-picking, but ACKSHUALLY the entire book is like this. The good-guy "posthumans" are playing on easy-mode, and one of them in particular seems to have activated a god-mode cheat code. If you imagine that these "posthumans" are deities awakened from their slumber on Mt. Olympus, or that they're comic-book superheroes (of the Superman-esque OP sort,) maybe it's excusable. But in an ostensibly serious military science fiction book, it's just silly.
So I was entertained, but I was also really annoyed.
After the Revolution hops between three characters whose paths will intersect on the brink of a sudden overwhelming attack by a Christian fundamentalist faction threatening to sweep through Texas. Here Evans cleverly echoes the rise of Islamic extremism, connecting the dots that are already appearing in our current society while still demonstrating a surprising amount of empathy for his antagonists.
Evans’ experiences as a journalist and researcher on relevant historical events serve to keep the events of the story grounded despite some elements of his science fiction; some technologies, while theoretically possible, still feel far enough away to fully grasp and seem to be included to allow the plot to move forward (certainly some deus ex machina in there).
Apart from sometimes needing to slow down to imagine technologies Evans describes, After the Revolution moves along at a nice pace and can be hard to put down. Each of the protagonists has enough space to be established as a dynamic character without detracting from the other two. Most other characters featured throughout the story are just as interesting, but a few of them fade away and don’t get as much attention as they deserve.
Overall, After the Revolution introduces a world worth exploring in further installments, whether before or after this point in the timeline. It would be interesting to examine the fall of the USA as it happens, especially given the nature of Evan’s podcast “It Could Happen Here,” an examination of the potential fragmentation of the United States through the lens of other nations’ histories and current events.
The characters are vividly portrayed, and as a reader you become truly invested in their backstories. Despite the grim premise, it manages to end on a hopeful note that also sets up the promised sequel.