Independence Day has passed, and many of us are still stuck at home! But barbecues and pool parties aren’t the only way to think about our country, especially not for a fan of speculative fiction—and these books are available by e-book to read today.
Try taking a fantastical road trip across the nation in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, following various religions in the United States, whether they originated here or arrived with immigrants. And see what happens when the gods of those religions won’t go away without a fight!
Think about a world where history had gone differently, as with Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. In that book, Jews without a homeland have found temporary refuge in Alaska...but their time to stay there is running out, the rest of North America isn’t looking especially welcoming, and someone has a plot of apocalyptic proportions under way.
Or, what’s a more iconic piece of Americana than the Wild West? Set foot in the weird west, where monsters roam the plains and spellcasters do battle at high noon, starting with the anthology Dead Man’s Hand, edited by John Joseph Adams.
Look at the world through the eyes of the first Americans, often shunted to the side by popular culture, in Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction, edited by Grace L. Dillon. (Currently being reprinted, contact John our books manager to special order.)
And if what you want to do on Independence Day is to sink your teeth into a nostalgic bit of American childhood, there’s no better book than Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes (& e-book). Just make sure those colorful displays outside your window are fireworks and not the trappings of a sinister supernatural carnival!
Finally, you can always celebrate one of the great American accomplishments of all time: cowboy Quincey Morris slaying the titular character in Dracula!
I wish the whole nation good luck in these troubled times—whether science fiction and fantasy offer us hope or horror, the above books give us a glimpse of how their authors view America or its future.
By: Mira G.