Today, I’m announcing my next book. It’s called Commonwealth, and it’s a novel of dystopia and utopia together in one.
Commonwealth is set in a near-future United States that’s become a libertarian ruin: the plutocrats’ paradise of Ayn Rand’s dreams, the chasmic inequality of progressive nightmares. It’s a fading empire of neon and ash, where the rich live in glittering towers above the smog and the poor scrounge a living in toxic slums, all while rising seas are lapping at the door. It’s a world where selfishness rules from on high and the days when people worked together and helped each other are a distant memory.
But in the darkest hours, there’s still resistance, and joy, and a stubborn spark of hope that hasn’t been snuffed out. The story follows a small group of dreamers and builders who haven’t given up on the world, who have faith in humanity’s potential to be better. Hidden among hunger and graffiti and sweat, behind the trash mounds and illuminated nights and crumbling seawalls, there’s a secret garden where their ideals are made manifest – but to find it, they’ll have to go through hell.
Commonwealth was born from my takedowns of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, and people who’ve followed along with those marathon reviews will catch the allusions and in-jokes. But it was also born from the times we’re living in, where every headline heralds some new outrage, and where humanity heedlessly plunges toward self-destruction even as the vision of a better future hangs just beyond reach. It’s a reversal (in some respects!) of Atlas Shrugged, a hopepunk hymn, a stark portrait of how low humanity could fall and a philosophical blueprint of how high we could rise.
After I finish reviewing The Fountainhead, I’m going to release the book in serialized format. The first few chapters will be available free on Daylight Atheism. After that, I’m planning to post the rest in weekly installments on Patreon. But fear not – the nature of this project rules out making it available only to people who can afford to pay. No one who wants to read it will be turned away.
More announcements and teasers are coming soon. Watch this space!