These Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Novels Are Based on Real Life
Present-day turmoil inspires a new genre that envisions the worst.
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The Book of Joan
Meanwhile, in the dog-eat-dog world of Lidia Yuknavitch's The Book of Joan , 1-percenters find shelter in a space station hovering above a poisoned earth. A once-revered celebrity now reigns as a sadistic dictator, while radiation has turned the survivors sexless and albino. Desperately trying to feel something, anything, they burn symbols into their flesh like Braille tattoos. In a last-ditch act of insurgence, our hero, Christine, grafts her body with the "skin story" of the planet's last revolutionary, a mysteriously powerful girl-warrior who was publicly executed. Galvanized by the tale, a band of rebels unites to save us all. Like El Akkad, Yuknavitch understands that our collective narrative can either destroy or redeem us, and the outcome depends not just on who's telling it, but also on who's listening.