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America City by Chris Beckett review – dark vision of our future

The Arthur C Clarke winner’s dystopia is set in a future US ravaged by climate change and war

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The signposts have been around for decades, and the territory is increasingly well mapped. So while the past may be a foreign country, the future is an increasingly familiar one – in which we continue to be alarmingly ourselves.

In this vivid and disturbing climate-change novel, Chris Beckett, winner of the Arthur C Clarke award, compellingly illustrates the consequences of our species’ fatal hard-wiring. Though a knight’s move away from his acclaimed sci-fi trilogy Dark Eden, Mother of Eden and Daughter of Eden, his new work shares a preoccupation with the survival and evolution of societies in inhospitable worlds.