Science Fiction Authors Predict the Political Future in After the Orange: Ruin and Recovery

This anthology looks to 2032—and beyond

After the Orange:Ruin and Recovery, the latest anthology from B Cubed Press, looks beyond current political issues to the futures our current political situation may portend. 29 science fiction authors contributed their visions of a post-Trump world.

The stories range from social and political humor/satire, to tales of ecological collapse and social and political dystopias. Editor Manny Frishberg, a journalist and science fiction author, selected the stories from more than 100 submissions. “Some stories are about imagined Resistance fighters, while others, like ‘Garbage Patch Kids,’ envision people cheerfully making the best of their situation,” Frishberg said. “Generally, the farther in the future a story looks, the more likely it is to be optimistic.”

While some of the stories are clearly fantasy or satire, others are all too plausible. Frishberg cited “Maybe the Monarchs,” by Endeaver Award winner Brenda Cooper, along with K.G. Anderson’s “Bad Memories, 2032” and J.G. Follansbee’s “The Orange St. Parking Garage Is Open/Closed” as disturbingly plausible.

After the Orange takes an international perspective on the impacts of the current American presidency. The anthology began as a project of an Australian publisher, but was taken on by B Cubed Press in early 2017. Frishberg said he received stories from throughout the English-speaking world, and even a submission from Israel.

Frishberg enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to edit a book of controversial political fiction. “The Austrian writer Karl Kraus said in the 1930s that ‘satires that are understood by the censors are rightly forbidden,’” he said. “Besides, I’ve been a smart-alec troublemaker since I was a kid. It’s too late to change now.”

For Bob Brown, the founder of B Cubed Press, After the Orange is just the latest in a series of books that question political authority.

“It makes me glad I’ve been careful on my taxes, but frankly when it comes time to worry, it is too late,” said publisher Bob Brown. B Cubed Press has published Alternative Truths and More Alternative Truths: Stories from the Resistance, and this year has four more releases about politics coming out: After the Orange, Alternative Theologies: Parables for a Modern World, Alternative Truths III: Endgame, and When Trump Changed: The Feminist Science Fiction Justice League Quashes the Orange Outrage Pussy Grabber.

A percentage of the sales from each of the “Alternative” books from B Cubed Press is donated to the Washington State ACLU, and that will be true for After the Orange, as well, Brown said.

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