When all of society is privatized, profitable crimes become legalized while empathy is banned. How far will people go to connect? Could their defiance lead to revolution? These are the underlying questions within this novella collection.
In "Sodom and Gomorrah on a Saturday Night," the murder of a young mixed-race prostitute is, at first, just another destruction-of-corporate-property case. But when a well-to-do white woman embodies the speech and behavior of the murdered girl, former cop-turned-private security guard Ray is drawn into a bizarre and twisted investigation.
In "The Kings of Babylon," Ray has joined an underground rescue organization when he meets Annika, a rogue journalist. Together they work on her latest story, to investigate whether black-market human trafficking is undercutting the corporate system and how they can save those trafficked.
In "The Queen of Sheba," Becca serves out the sentence she was handed alongside other debt laborers. Thinking she deserves her miserable existence due to her own dark past, she can't quite bring herself to show up for justice -- until she learns the truth of how enterprises define "value" for laborers versus the privileged others.
And in "A Road in the Wilderness" workers once assumed to be "safe" are being detained to work off their debt. Unable to bear seeing the people around her fall prey to the system, Sophie goes on the run, only to come face to face with people living entirely outside social bounds. Forced to revisit her own checkered past, Sophie finds she can only step up when she faces her own role in the system and its oppression.
About the Author
Too goody-two-shoes for the rebels and too rebellious for the good girls and boys, Christa Miller writes fiction which, like herself, doesn't quite fit in. A professional writer for 15+ years, Christa has written in a variety of genres ranging from crime fiction to horror to children's, but her favorite stories to write -- and read -- are those which blend genres. She has an affinity for the dark, psychological, and somewhat bizarre, but doesn't let that stop her from snuggling baby animals as a volunteer at a local wildlife rescue, adventuring with her two sons in rivers, swamps and salt marshes, or relaxing with a good book and a cold beverage in her hammock.
"Fans of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, its sequel, and its TV-series adaptation may recognize some elements of this cautionary narrative, though, unlike Atwood, Miller adds an underlying, Jorge Luis Borges-ian conceit: that "empathy," in this world, is effectively an elevated state of near-universal psychic bonding and fellowship-one that includes telepathy and what might pass for magic. Needless to say, it's outlawed as bad for business and repressed by compulsory drugs." -- Kirkus Reviews
"A harsh and intriguing journey through a patriarchal, profit-centered future." -- Kirkus Reviews