July 13, 2015
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California

by Edan Lepucki

A postmodern post-apocalypse, a world in which civilization has slowly puttered to a stop. Our hero and heroine have fled slowly-rotting Los Angeles for a verdant strip of green somewhere in the Central Valley, a place they call “the afterlife” where they eek out a life in nearly total isolation. Back home, the cities are slowly collapsing into stagnation and decay, while everyone with money has retreated to gated “communities” behind fortified walls defended by private armies and threatened by marauding land pirates.

Cal and Frida have a shed in the woods, a subsistence garden, a few supplies, and each other. They’re young and loving and resourceful. They trust each other. Naturally, they have small secrets: who doesn’t? From those tiny, trivial secrets, fissures spread. This is the way Lepucki’s world ends, crack by tiny crack.

This is the second apocalyptic dystopian California to have appeared this year, though The Last Days Of California never quite makes it to the California border (or the Rapture).