Damien Broderick. Dead Air. (Asimovs February 2010).

Initially an oppressive near-future wryly observed, with the USA under the sway of German industrial and economic might, seen through the eyes of Jive Bolen, under the sway of his ex-wife, children, live-in elderly relative, employment, and the teeming urban sprawl in which he lives, all under the burning sun (albeit with measures in place to allieviate that problem).

To add to Jive’s woes, his fellow humans are increasingly under the thrawl of what is being beamed into their living rooms through the television – evidently willing to believe that they are watching the dead pleading wordlessly at them them through the screens.

Broderick details all this nicely, suckering the reader into thinking the dyspeptic dystopian view is a wry comment on our current society, until Jive gets proof positive that those people on TV are indeed the dead, and that the world is suddenly going to get much, much more unpleasant, on both a macro, and a very personal level.

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