Dietzel (The Last Teacher, 2015, etc.) offers a chilling sci-fi novel about big government run amok in the future.
The Tyranny rules at the will of the rich and powerful, keeping the middle class and poor in line with AeroCam surveillance drones and black-suited thugs. The powers that be get away with everything as powerless people are jailed or murdered for the slightest infractions. A secret society of dissenters known as the Thinkers decides to take action, sending 10 men back in time in hopes of changing the timeline so that the Tyranny doesn’t come to be. Why? Time traveler Daniel explains: “How many friends had he watched get dragged away by the Tyranny to be found the next day with a blaster hole in the back of their head?...How could he allow his son to grow up in such a world?” One traveler goes too far into the past, though, and ends up burying a book for future generations to uncover—one that eventually finds its way to Thomas Jefferson, who rails against the possibility of such a tyrannical government. Another traveler seeks to stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who’s seen as a reformer by the ruling class. At first, Dietzel’s dystopian America might seem a bit far-fetched. However, the novel’s characters are quite plausible—all cogs in a machine not of their own making and all afraid to get out of lockstep. As even the Ruler himself explains, “if I had one of our men punished for killing a kid or some broad? Can you imagine what the leaders would say about me? They’d claim I was against the Tyranny!” Perhaps to set up another book in the series, Dietzel frustratingly leaves the novel open-ended, offering no closure, which readers may find to be a disappointing end to a thought-provoking volume.
A terrifying glimpse at a believable future.