Fallow Park Today
by Joseph Glenn
Amazon Digital Services

"But he who strays from a community's norms can often be too deviant for society to tolerate."

Fifteen years have passed since a major eugenic event changed American life and launched a dystopian society. A "gay gene" was identified, and America implemented draconian measures to identify and eradicate gay genes and people. Prospective future parents undergo mandatory genetic testing, and, if they carry a chance of producing gay offspring, they are shunned and sterilized.

Living gay Americans have been segregated and sequestered into camps, where they were promised the ease of a government-supported life, akin to a retirement community, but where, after fifteen years, they live a marginalized and under-reported existence of squalor, neglect, and sadness. Into this malaise enters an aging actress who is hosting a propaganda television special on the camps. Behind her vapid interview segments, however, she has orchestrated an escape plan for her secret son who has been imprisoned at a camp since it opened.

This imaginative story forges a terrifying what-if path where prejudice and eugenics intersect with a society’s dark willingness to act. The narrative reveals details of this new America via conversations between protagonists who lived through the transition. While the text offers little detail about mainstream American life outside the camps, the characters describe a society whose prejudices have run amok, but which seems otherwise close to 2018 norms. This chilling continuity with contemporary life makes it easy to visualize an America that acted on its worst intolerance and discrimination and then moved on with business as usual.

The author balances educating the reader about the detailed history of this dystopian America with advancing a suspenseful escape plot. The result is mostly successful, with enough creative backstory and plot tension to keep the pages turning and enough cautionary horror to remind readers how close an advanced society can skate to the edge of decency before falling into the abyss.

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