Let's Put the Future Behind Us: A Novel

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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“A remarkable novel” of a post-Communist Russia filled with gangsters and oligarchs, and one man’s shady business deal that could land him in a world of trouble (The Boston Globe).
 
Part speculative fiction, part satire, Let’s Put the Future Behind Us is a romp through 1990s Russia, as the closed society of the Soviet Union morphs into a modern capitalist free-for-all and Max Borodin finds himself, his wife, and his mistress in mortal danger—in “a world of petty bureaucrats, shameless opportunists, and full-blown mafiosi” (Entertainment Weekly).
 
“An absurdist thriller narrated by one Max Borodin, an ex-Communist Party hack who has re-invented himself as a commercial operator with a cynical understanding of how to manipulate the strings of power. Cops are paid off with dollar bills, bureaucrats with phoney documents and racketeers with the consumer opiates of their choice. Max is always up for the main chance, and before long finds himself logged into a drug deal involving psychotic Georgian gangsters, corrupt local entrepreneurs, the investors in a leaky crematorium and a messianic fascist demagogue who wants to build a plastic dome over Russia to secure it against ‘Western sneak attacks.’ At the same time, he has to balance the demands of his irascible wife and voracious mistress while rescuing his gullible brother from the folly of building a ‘Sovietland’ theme park.” —Wired
 
“The grimmest, funniest, and one of the most cannily on-target accounts yet about the helter-skelter fast lane of life in the New Russia.” —The Boston Globe
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About the author

Jack Womack is the author of Ambient, Terraplane, Heathern, Elvissey, Random Acts of Senseless Violence, Let’s Put the Future Behind Us, and Going, Going, Gone. Womack’s short stories, have appeared in anthologies edited by Kathryn Cramer (Walls of Fear, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”), Ellen Datlow (A Whisper of Blood, “Lifeblood”) The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Little Deaths, “That Old School Tie,”), and Don Keller, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman (The Horns of Elfland, “Audience”); as well as in Omni (“A Kiss, a Wink, a Grassy Knoll.”). He has published articles or reviews in Spin, the Washington Post Book World, Artbyte, Science Fiction Eye, Fantasy and Science Fiction, New York Review of Science Fiction, and Suddeutche Zeitung (Munich), and was a contributor to Amok: Fifth Dispatch. He is a cowinner of the Philip K. Dick Award, and has taught writing at the Clarion West workshop, in Seattle. He lives in New York City.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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Published on
Dec 1, 2007
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781555847609
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Thrillers / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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“Futurist wunderkind Womack concludes his heralded Ambient series with this intriguing, clever novel set in an alternate, semi-historical 1968” (Publishers Weekly).
 
It’s 1968, and Walter Bullitt, part-time US government freelancer and collector of “race records,” stays busy testing new psychotropics on himself and unsuspecting citizens. Walter’s conscience never interferes with his work—until he’s asked to help sabotage Bobby Kennedy’s presidential campaign. The ghosts who’ve moved into his apartment aren’t much comfort. Then two outré femmes fatales show up and frog-march Walter out of Max’s Kansas City before the Velvet Underground can finish their first song. The ladies have a mission. They need to save New York—both his and theirs.
 
Bringing his acclaimed Ambient series to a close, “Womack has crafted a fast-moving, hipper-than-hip science fiction novel meshing the exuberant wordplay of Anthony Burgess with the high-concept what-if history Philip Dick made famous with The Man in the High Castle” (Publishers Weekly).
 
“A bizarre mating of William S. Burroughs and Robert Heinlein, though the over-the-top, hipster, first-person narration might also make readers think of Jack Kerouac channeled through P. G. Wodehouse.” —The Oregonian
 
“Like Damon Runyon and James M. Cain, Jack Womack has a gift for inventing oddball language. . . . Daringly, scaringly distinct in contemporary fiction.” —Philadelphia Weekly
 
“The action moves with amphetamine quickness, and Womack’s surefooted control over his material completely sucks us in. . . . Has roots in the paranoid, conspiratorial bookends of Norman Mailer’s near-delirious An American Dream and Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49.” —Bookforum
A young Elvis Presley is kidnapped into the future to be the new messiah in this “jarringly potent” novel from the author of Ambient (William Gibson).
 
Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award
 
At once a biting satire and a taut sci-fi thriller, Elvissey is the story of Isabel and John, a troubled couple who are sent through a “window” from the year 2033 to a strangely altered 1954. They are on a desperate mission to kidnap a young Elvis Presley and bring him back to the present day to serve the powerful conglomerate Dryco as a ready-made cult leader. But when Elvis proves to be a reluctant messiah, things do not work out quite as planned.
 
With his distinctive prose, Womack has combined “serious sociological extrapolation, high and low comedy, pulp adventure, pop iconography” and more in this highly original novel (Omni).
 
“Nazi flying saucers over an alternate 1950s Memphis, your basic cross-time godhead abduction of Elvis Presley, and what must surely be one of the flat-out weirdest Fisher King inversions yet perpetrated in American literature. Achingly sad, downright alarmingly funny, and just about as serious as any of us can presently afford to be.” —William Gibson, author of Neuromancer
 
“Jack Womack is another of the heirs of cyberpunk, one of science fiction’s most interesting new writers” —Los Angeles Times
 
“Womack’s book is different in tone and content from anything you may have read.” —Financial Times
 
“Womack astounds and entertains. . . . Though the plot suggests the ridiculous, this is, in fact, a deep, often theological, reflection on love, betrayal and commercially inspired nihilism.” —Publishers Weekly
SEATTLE, 2040. The Space Needle lies crumpled. Veiled women hurry through the busy streets. Alcohol is outlawed, replaced by Jihad Cola, and mosques dot the skyline. New York and Washington, D.C., are nuclear wastelands. Phoenix is abandoned, Chicago the site of a civil war battle. At the edges of the empire, Islamic and Christian forces fight for control of a very different United States.

Enormous in scope and brilliantly imagined, Prayers for the Assassin promises to be the powerhouse read of the year. Burning with cinematic violence, fiendish betrayal, and global intrigue, Robert Ferrigno's sensational thriller asks: What would happen to America if the terrorists won?

After simultaneous suitcase-nuke attacks destroy New York, Washington, D.C., and Mecca -- attacks blamed on Israel -- a civil war breaks out. An uneasy truce leaves the nation divided between an Islamic republic with its capital in Seattle, and the Christian Bible Belt in the old South. In this frightening future there are still Super Bowls and Academy Awards, but calls to Muslim prayer echo in the streets and terror is everywhere. Freedom is controlled by the state, paranoia rules, and rebels plot to regain free will...

One of the most courageous is the beautiful young historian Sarah Dougan, who uncovers shocking evidence that the nuclear attacks might not have been planned by Israel, evidence that, if true, will destabilize the nation. When Sarah suddenly goes missing, the security chief of the Islamic republic calls upon Rakkim Epps, her secret lover and a former elite warrior, to find her -- no matter what the risk.

But as Rakkim searches for Sarah, he is tracked by Darwin, a brilliant psychopathic killer trained in the same secretive unit as Rakkim. To survive, Rakkim must become Darwin's assassin -- a most forbidding challenge. A bloody, nerve-racking chase takes them through the looking-glass world of the Islamic States of America, and culminates dramatically as Rakkim and Sarah battle to expose the truth to the entire world.

Can the couple outrun Darwin? Who is really behind the nuke attacks? Will Sarah and Rakkim stay alive long enough to deliver the truth? Does a nation divided have a prayer?

Robert Ferrigno's Prayers for the Assassin shows the novelist at the height of his powers, and delivers a masterful, unforgettable read.
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