A review by Joey Madia
What a weird thirteen months it’s been for writers of dystopian fiction.
Between a pandemic whose origins are heavily debated; a fractured political system and radical electorate featuring the storming of the US Capitol, outcries of false-flag ops and conspiracy theories fueled by the mysterious Q; increasing evidence that social media is more Big Brother and psychologically/economically invasive than we feared; a sizable portion of the populace dependent on prescription drugs and illegal opioids and somewhat distrustful of a rushed-to-market vaccine; and the ongoing Cult of Trump, so-called Real Life has all the makings of what used to crawl with clicking nails and crooked limbs solely from dystopian writers’ minds.
So I spent a lot of time while reading Orange City—well… the entire time—whispering to myself… this could really happen… yes, it really could…
Which admittedly puts more weight on the quality of the writing.
No worries here: Goldberg is up to the task.
Like any genre writing, Orange City draws on plenty of established symbols and tropes and pays homages aplenty. To me, it’s value added.
Take the cover, designed by Christina Loraine, featuring a building shaped (fittingly) like a medicine bottle with an eye atop. Take your pick: Sauron’s tower, Barad-dûr; the optician’s eye on the billboard in The Great Gatsby; or the all-seeing eye prevalent in the ancient mystery religions and the architecture and symbolism of the Freemasons. Continue reading