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Landscape with Invisible Hand
by M. T. Anderson
The always-tricky future has arrived, and in this future the Earth has been colonized by the highly advanced and efficient vuvv. The vuvv didn’t invade in the usual way with force and violence, they simply took over. For human cooperation, the vuvv promised advanced technology and a part in their Interspecies Co-Prosperity Alliance. As colonizers do. They delivered on the advanced technology part. but the prosperity part only materialized for those who were wealthy to begin with because the technology was so advanced it did away with most jobs. What most Earthlings got instead was oppression, poverty and servitude. Which, of course, is what colonizers throughout history deliver once they stop making promises.
After the vuvv arrived, Adam’s parents lost their jobs. Then Adam’s father did a runner. Leaving Adam, his mother and his sister to survive on their own. Until they were forced to share their house to try to make ends meet. The Marshes came to live with them, and, to his surprise, Adam got his first girlfriend, Chloe. Which is when they realized they now had a chance to make some money. Because the vuvv knew nothing about love or romance they paid to watch humans in love the way it was in TVs and films in the 1950s they liked. Reality TV for outer space. But what Adam doesn’t realise until it’s too late is that 1950s dating someone you live with is a really huge mistake.
Landscape with Invisible Hand, the latest novel by the ever-original M. T Anderson, is a sharp-tongued, sharp-eyed satire about the past, the present and even the future.