Originally on : Tor.com (and still online.
Take 10 or 15 minutes out of your life to read the story (unless you’re feeling in a pretty low mood and don’t want to be taken down further!).
America in the 1960s, or, rather, a 1960s, where the USA didn’t join the war, the New Deal failed, and the Great Depression lingers on, and a whole heap of societal ills remain, and are indeed magnified. There are a couple of short peices of narrative from those in the soup kitchen queue, and longer focus on a young woman struggling to make ends meet as a waitress, and these are put in context with newspaper headlines, showing the sad state of affairs in America, in a world with Hitler still in power, Japan still a world force and a threat, and America fighting Britain.
The newspaper headlines include short references to new stories by famous authors, the final reference being to Alice Davey, which will test the reader’s knowledge of sf (or their ability to use google…)