Acclaimed short-story writer and editor of the World Fantasy Award nominee Three Messages and a Warning eerily envisions an American society unraveling and our borders closed off--from the other side--in this haunting and provocative novel that combines Max Barry's Jennifer Government, Philip K. Dick's classic Man in the High Castle, and China Mi ville's The City & the City.
The United States of America is no more. Broken into warring territories, its center has become a wasteland DMZ known as the Tropic of Kansas. Though this gaping geographic hole has no clear boundaries, everyone knows it's out there--that once-bountiful part of the heartland, broken by greed and exploitation, where neglect now breeds unrest. Two travelers appear in this arid American wilderness: Sig, the fugitive orphan of political dissidents, and his foster sister Tania, a government investigator whose search for Sig leads her into her own past--and towards an unexpected future.
Sig promised those he loves that he would make it to the revolutionary redoubt of occupied New Orleans. But first he must survive the wild edgelands of a barren mid-America policed by citizen militias and autonomous drones, where one wrong move can mean capture ... or death. One step behind, undercover in the underground, is Tania. Her infiltration of clandestine networks made of old technology and new politics soon transforms her into the hunted one and gives her a shot at being the agent of real change--if she is willing to give up the explosive government secrets she has sworn to protect.
As brother and sister traverse these vast and dangerous badlands, their paths will eventually intersect on the front lines of a revolution whose fuse they are about to light.