3 Auditions by Colin Juvonen
In tight, terse prose, 3 Auditions relates the story of Emory Mann, a screenwriter from California who finds himself the unwitting instrument of a corrupt near-future U.S. government called simply “the New Republic.” Emory’s daughter, a young and outspoken activist, has been missing for several years, though Emory continues to be plagued by numerous inquiries into his daughter’s political affiliations and subsequent disappearance. Now widowed and childless, Emory is tapped by an obscure branch of the New Republic’s regime to produce a series of films – ostensibly propaganda – in return for his daughter’s amnesty. As Emory jets around an eerily altered American landscape, he slowly becomes entrenched in a political war that is far darker than he first imagined.
This novella from Colin Juvonen offers just a brief taste of a compelling and frightening future where class warfare takes on a very literal meaning. Here, Juvonen has illuminated a world where elitism runs rampant throughout the government, and the people have been left voiceless in the wake a political coup in which very few of them played a part. While not strictly dystopian, 3 Auditions offers a brief glimpse of our country as it transitions from something recognizable into an utterly alien totalitarian state, its purpose being to warn us that political change is often sudden and unpredictable, leaving many to wonder how things have gotten so grim. The world Juvonen has created here deserves a deeper look and will hopefully be explored more thoroughly by the author at a later point in time.
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