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Is 2030 the new 1984?

When I was in high school, I read a book by George Orwell called 1984. It was a futuristic novel that scared me more that Hitchcock ever could. The story was about a world where media was tightly controlled, history was rewritten often to suit the latest political whim and everyone was watched all the time by Big Brother. When we read this novel in high school English class in the late 1970s, I remember everyone saying that none of this could happen.
So many aspects of that world have become our reality today. Today, we live with the fact that our communications on the web could be monitored. When we drive down the street, traffic cameras could single us out. Media figures "spin" history to suit their views. This and more all happened so gradually that we didn't even think to protest. Maybe Orwell's world wasn't so far-fetched.

Today's guest post by Nicole Rivera is a book review about a novel that has some of the same prophetic aspects as Orwell's novel. After reading her review, I know what I'm going to be reading this weekend!

Take a moment to think about the year 2030.

2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America
Where will you be?     

How old will you be?    

Where will your family be, your friends, your coworkers?

What do you think will be the general state of things in the United States financially, politically and historically speaking?

Albert Brooks thought about these things as he sat down to write down his first novel, 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America. Mr. Brooks, the comedian and actor, famous for his roles both in front of and behind the camera, brought to life a future that was equally fascinating as it was ominous. Let me set the stage for you...

Humanity's greatest evil has been conquered - by 2015 cancer has been cured! Due to this wonderful breakthrough, as well as many other medical masterpieces, our older Americans are simply aging without a natural predator. Those enjoying the benefits of Social Security keep living to ripe old ages when they then hope for a DIS (death in sleep) in the house they own, or on a fantastic voyage on one of the retirement cruise ships that have become so popular. It is what we have all longed for - a long, leisurely retirement where we can enjoy our lives in good health - however, in this dystopian future world, of course there is a negative side to this story! While the millions of Boomers are enjoying the lap of luxury and increasing political power as a group, the rest of the country is going bankrupt and the youth is starting to blame "the olds" for all their hardships.

Then, on June 12, 2030 Los Angeles, California is hit by an enormous earthquake. The city is completely decimated with no infrastructure left. The government does not have the money to rebuild one of its largest cities and ports. It doesn't matter if you are old or young, the earthquake is unforgiving and the country can't help. Finally, the United States of America has to face the reality of the its failing economy once and for all.

As the country looks for a solution to Los Angeles, as the youth thinks up ways to balance the power while paying off their own massive debts and as the olds try to hang on to the lives they feel they are entitled to - the reader is left wondering Is this the future we are headed for?

It's a compelling read, as most dystopian novels are. There is a sense of wonder and awe over the inventions and conveniences Brooks has dreamed up. This is paired with the pestering dread that this work of fiction may be prophetic in design. As any good book does, Brooks' 2030 leaves his reader thinking and who can ask for more than that?

2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America is available in hardcover and in multiple eBook formats.
(Note: The boxed link below is an affiliate link for Nicole. Please click on this to buy this compelling read.)

About our guest poster: Nicole Rivera, a teacher turned blogger, is looking for people to share her interests in blogging, writing, books, movies and all things in her geek life on her blog Rivera Runs Through It. After twelve years of having her own captive classroom audience, she cordially invites YOU to come to read, comment and share as she builds a new community in her virtual space.
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