UNITED STATES OF JAPAN
Dumbed- down Dick
released 3 March 384 pages | Paperback/ ebook
Author Peter Tieryas
Publisher Angry Robot
Talk about good timing. This book arrives when the “Japan won World War Two” idea is at its trendiest for decades, thanks to the TV version of Philip K Dick’s The Man In The High Castle. United States Of Japan is presented as a respectful tribute to Dick. Instead it’s an insult.
Forget Dick comparisons; even as pulp fiction, this is abominably bad. The early chapters seem okay, establishing a world where Japan nuked America in 1948. Most of the book happens 40 years later, as two mismatched Japanese officers ( a man and a woman) seek a missing general in the conquered country. He may be linked to an illegal computer game, which simulates a history where America won.
But the investigation quickly becomes ridiculous. The setting is supposedly a terrifying, beyond- Orwell police state, yet characters act in cretinously casual ways, right up until they get tortured and shredded. ( The video nasty horror scenes feel inspired by a notorious Chinese torture film, Men Behind The Sun.) The plot, characters and world are boringly, humourlessly unbelievable, and by the time giant robots stomp onto the scene, you’re already long past caring. Andrew Osmond
In his day job coding for Sony’s Imageworks, Peter Tieryas has worked on films like Guardians Of The Galaxy.