An Etiquette Guide for the End Times by Maia Sepp

Toronto, 2028. Climate change has started to devastate the world as we know it. Summer temperatures are higher, the food supply is disrupted, and government infrastructure is breaking down. While the elite can still enjoy a lifestyle that we would recognize as normal, the vast majority of people are living with food shortages, power cuts, the breakdown of currency, global pandemics, and an increase in draconian government power and surveillance. Olive tries to live quietly – tending her backyard chickens, bartering for food, and writing a tongue in cheek etiquette guide for an independent website. But her beloved grandfather has gone missing during one of the increasingly common devastating storms that has hit Nova Scotia. Now the government is knocking on her door to get her to do a propaganda radio show for them. They’re holding the fate of her grandfather – and her chickens – in their hands and will do what it takes to get her on board.

This is one of the most genuinely scary near-future stories I’ve read because the scenario is so plausible. We see the beginnings of this already in today’s world and this books seems like the logical conclusion of current policies and science. At this point it’s hard to see how this future WON’T happen.

Since this is a novella there isn’t much time to develop the main characters that much and Olive is the best drawn of all of a thin bunch. But her story, though slight, is compelling. This is a quick entertaining read that will leave you uneasy about the state of the future.

Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction

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