Onto our second installment in the FUTURES series from Radix Media, which is GUAVA SUMMER by Vera Kurian. One of my favorite titles in the series and contains a rather complex plot of what happens when people have had enough.
Sawtelle is a somewhat quiet place, for a place under authoritarian world. We follow on private detective, who attempts to stay below the radar, despite living with a beautiful, but illegal android. Everyone is watched over by the Supreme Leader, but when Sebastian Black, a former mobster-turned-politician becomes the leading presidential candidate, our detective preps for the worst among the guava surplus.
The story of GUAVA SUMMER is brief with a smoldering plot that flashes at its climax, but it highlights Kurian’s skill of layering motives, sub-plots, and characterization. While, the story itself feels almost too painfully close to our own with corrupt politicians/police and sham elections, the characters, including our android and detective are richly painted in the span of 20ish pages.
The food rationing was a brilliant touch, especially since Sawtelle is set in an empire spanning the galaxy, at least that’s what the populace is told. Yet, they only have guavas as a surplus food to show for it. These little tweaks to the world building were incredibly amusing, which takes some of the toxicity of other characters, like Sebastian Black.
Kurian has taken the general feeling of 1984 and given it a contemporary spin, all while compressing these feelings of resistance down to their raw notes. It is truly a wonderful work.
You can purchase GUAVA SUMMER here.