Fun City, by Thomas Ryerson is his third book I chose to read this science fiction book after reading his latest book which is historical fiction. After starting the book, I was taken back to a time when I was younger and looked forward to the Saturday night television movies which usually involved a horror movie like The Monitorsor some Science fiction like The Mole People. This book combines both. There is a post WWIII utopian society where the government isn’t outwardly heavy handed, but all the same people worry about monitors and all crimes carry the death sentence. It’s not North Korea by any means, but more like a western camera surveillanced society on steroids. History has been re-written to suit the societies “needs.” It is a seemingly happy place. People born into the system tend to stay and support the system, except for a few.
I am reminded of old sci-fi movies by a few things: Food is cooked in a micro-warmer and kept cold in a food-cool. Air-cool is air conditioning. There is also a nuclear powered hover car for emergencies. Smart androids help with many tasks from hauling luggage to fetching people… just don’t call one a robot. These are pleasant touches in the book. It gives the story a real “this is the future” sense and helps add to the “willing suspension of disbelief”. It all works well together.
The characters are all likeable (or unlikeable as the case may be) and very well developed. I had a vision of Dr. Menke as a serious Avery Schreiber for part of the book. Character development and the intertwining of their lives plays well. The story is complex but easy to follow. It has its twists and turns and will easily hold your interest. I combines a great many things I enjoy from old science fiction and a few new things too. A very good escapist read and more good news, it is the first book of a trilogy. The next book is due out in 2014.