‘Gold Fame Citrus’ Holds Fear In A Handful Of Dust

“Your people came here looking for something better. Gold, fame, citrus. Mirage. They were feckless, yeah? Schemers. That’s why no one wants them now. Mojavs.”

That’s Ray, talking to Luz, on the day they first met, explaining the draw of California, the curse of it. What drew down generations of wanderers and seekers and, eventually, brought the world to what it is today.

Or tomorrow, really. Maybe the day after. Because that’s when Claire Vaye Watkins’ new dystopia-du-jour novel, Gold Fame Citrus, is set: Just over a too-near horizon where everything is drought and lack and death. Where the water is gone and the people are gone and the southwest has become a wild, weird, rolling apocalypse that, sure, is a fiction today but might be history by next year.

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