Vigilance by Robert Jackson Bennett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This dark and timely novella gives us a dystopian world a little too close to our present day world- America made great, or more accurately white, wealthy, and filled to the brim with guns. It's an vision of America that is the NRA's wet dream. Anti-hero John McDean is the executive producer of a year 2030 reality show called "Vigilance," that treats mass shootings like a game show. Because we need to be vigilant. Or more accurately, we need to watch these mass shootings to be sure we know what's going on and streaming on Facebook doesn't cut it. Not enough advertising money to be made. (Here, just to be safe, here's another automatic weapon. You can't have too many, you know. You should watch it again, so you'll be ready and safe, if this happens to you. Look at him go! See if you can survive so you can collect your prize!) Highlighting America as a country prone to national fear, and racism that leads to shooting black people (like, you know, police officers and security guards, tell me this didn't happen for real toward the end of 2018) because obviously being black means you're dangerous, Bennett offers a biting satire. Frankly, it's a modern A Modest Proposal.
Sometimes fiction can be powerful enough to effect a social change. Let's hope this much needed novella can do some of that.
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