cover image United States of Japan

United States of Japan

Peter Tieryas. Angry Robot, $14.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-85766-533-1

This unengaging and clumsily written alternate history, in which the U.S. lost WWII, doesn’t demonstrate the talent of Tieryas’s Bald New World. The opening line is gripping—“The death of the United States of America began with a series of signatures”—and it’s followed by the dramatic liberation of a Japanese-American internment camp by the Imperial Japanese Army. The liberators announce that the U.S. has surrendered and that the country will now be known as the United States of Japan. The novel follows the lives of two of the camp’s residents, Ezekiel Song and Ruth Ishimura, in an increasingly repressive world. But the story line is marred by thin characterizations, baroque prose, and gaps in Tieryas’s worldbuilding, in which major developments are relegated to mere passing references. Agent: Judith Hansen, Judith Hansen Literary. (Mar.)