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Decades ago, Japan won the Second World War. Americans worship their infallible emperor, and nobody believes that Japan's conduct in the war was anything but exemplary.
Nobody, that is, except the George Washingtons, a group of rebels fighting for freedom. Their latest terrorist tactic is to distribute an illegal video game that asks players to imagine what the world might be like if the United States had won the war instead. Captain Beniko Ishimura's job is to censor video games, and he is tasked with getting to the bottom of this disturbing new development.
But Ishimura's hiding something...kind of. He's slowly been discovering that the case of the George Washingtons is more complicated than it seems, and the subversive video game's origins are even more controversial and dangerous than the censors originally suspected.
A spiritual sequel to Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle, United States of Japan carries on the legacy of Dick's famous alternate history, focusing on how Americans and Japanese deal with their guilt and troubled relationship to the past.
Peter Tieryas is a character artist who has worked on films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Alice in Wonderland and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.
His novel, Bald New World, was listed as one of Buzzfeed's 15 Highly Anticipated Books as well as Publishers Weekly's Best Science Fiction Books of Summer 2014.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Jim "The Impatient" on 05-19-16
As soon as I saw this in the Coming soon section, I put it on my wish list. I am a fan of this type of scenario. No, I don't want a foreign government to take us over, but neither do I want a Zombie Apocalypse, yet I enjoy those type of books I am a fan of Vaughn Heppner's Invasion series. I am also a fan of robots, especially giant robots. As another reviewer mentions in the first three hours, a robot is mentioned and that is it. I could not get past three hours. Peter Tieryas tells us things, but shows us nothing. Seemed more like a soap opera about some loser, than anything else. Peter has a great idea, he just needs to get a co/author to help with the writing.
The narrator sounds like he is on the verge of crying his eyes out, no matter what character he is attempting.
17 of 23 people found this review helpful
By Holly on 09-17-16
An intricate look at a grim alternate history
I picked up United States of Japan on a recommendation from a friend and was expecting a fun but blockbuster-style action/adventure. Instead, I was totally blown away by the intensity and intricacy of the storyline and the ideas presented here. This is, at its heart, a very serious book. There are fun things like the huge towering mecha battles and a look at an alternate universe where technology took a very different course, but what really shines here are the characters and the decisions they make. This is not a world I'd want to live in, and it's a grim mirror to where we could have gone. The people here are making the best of a horrific society--some by trying to make it a better place, some by sinking into violence or depravity. The lines between good and bad people are almost non-existent. And in that backdrop, the story slowly and quietly spins out a tale of love, dedication, anger, and hope.
This is a brutal and often hard story to read, but one very worth reading.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By R. Maines on 03-05-16
Don't be fooled by the cover..
Giants robots are mostly in the background in this novel.
Nice world building that rather overshadows the actual plot, and an ending that gives a finger to any hopes that this is not a one off.
NarratIon was good and understandable at x2 playback speed.
Still, I'm glad I 'read' this book.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By S. Jenö on 08-03-16
The performance is absolutely amazing. The setup is quite unique and well designed. The story is more like a tool that allows facts to be revealed from the past one after the the other, but still the story is pretty much OK. There is a lot of pain and violence in there, very slight optimism, but if you can live with that then you will find this book completely worth to listen.