Genre: Time Travel/ Sci Fi
Published by: Fidelli
Publication Date: July 8, 2020
Number of Pages: 78
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads
With the pandemic that never seems to be leaving us anytime soon I’ve created worlds that might make you pause for thought. Dark stories told by the characters as they experienced their journeys into worlds that you might not want to live in a hopefully be happy in the one you’re in.
I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
What If? has six dark stories and a poem that will make you think. I liked them, but I particularly two that rang true during the times that we are in:
- “Confined!” is about Fern who self-isolates due to fear of the virus. See what can happen when someone isolates both their mind and body.
- “One Race: On World – The Year 2050”: the government makes everyone multicolored, everyone works, everyone is paid the same amount no matter their job, and no one can have their own opinions (sounds a lot like 1984). Then, new neighbors move in…
“The Match” is a poem that’s disturbing. The other three stories are pretty good; they’re interesting and thought-provoking. What If? is a good book to read for when you don’t have much time (the stories are just 6 to 16 pages each) but want something that will make you think.
Read an Excerpt
One Race: One World: The Year 2050
It was now 2050 and the world had really changed. There were no more planes or trains. All you needed to do was think about being somewhere and you were there. The government, in order to save money on gas and fuel, had banned cars, buses, and any means of transportation, and implanted chips in everyone’s arms that helped transport them to wherever they wanted to go, including the past.
A huge explosion had occurred, and all that was left in the world were twenty countries, with only twelve hundred people in each country. Most people had not survived the explosion, which had caused most of the countries to just disappear into space forever. No one really knew if anyone was out there or if these people survived somewhere, and no one really cared enough to find out.
One man called The Ruler headed all the countries, and assigned one person as the Chief of Law and Enforcement in each country. Under this person, five people helped to enforce the rules and the laws.
Then, one miserable day, someone decided there were too many wars, too many hate crimes, too many people being killed on the streets, and too much traffic and congestion on the highways. The government hired several scientists to find a solution to the problem, and that was how everyone in the entire world wound up multicolored.
Because of all the wars and fighting and hate that took place in the past, the government created a way to eliminate the many different races in the world and opted for only one. Everyone looked the same. Our faces might have looked a little different, but our skin colors were the same—multicolored. They did this so that no one would insult, mock, or hurt anyone because of their skin color. They eliminated houses of worship so that everyone was nonsectarian, and no one would be discriminated against. However, what they could not eliminate were our thoughts and desires to make changes in our lives, even though they tried.
Everyone that lived here had a job that paid the same amount. No one, no matter what they did or what career they chose, was paid more than anyone else. We never had to worry about being laid off. Unless we decided to move somewhere else our job stayed the same, and there was no room for advancement—ever. Everyone did the same thing every day. Nothing changed. Life was supposed to be anger free, insult free, and most of all, calm and tranquil. HOW DULL AND BORING! (OH! I am not supposed to say that. Opinions are not allowed here.)
One morning I got up and got dressed to go to my boring job as an accountant with the only accounting firm in this city. I went over the books daily, entered my accounts in their daily ledgers, and did taxes for some of the companies in this city. It was grunt work, and nothing exciting ever happened at work or anywhere else.
Walking to work as usual, I began remembering how it was only twenty years ago when there were cars, trains, and people running and yelling for cabs and trains to wait for them at the station. I missed the newspaper people on the street and the vendors selling hot coffee and bagels from their pushcarts. Those were the days. I loved the way people had looked and the different races and nationalities that lived here. Learning from other people was what made life exciting.
Then the unexpected happened. A new family with two children moved in down the street from me. These two kids were not going to conform to our way of thinking, and decided it was time to shake things up—and they did. One morning when going to school they each wore something other than the school’s drab gray uniform. The girl wore a pink and green dress with flowers, and the boy wore something blue, and a shirt that said, “I hate being the same. Different Rules.”
This did not go over well, and they were taken into custody by the guards in their school and promptly suspended. This did not stop them. They started screaming and yelling all sorts of words we had not heard before. “One race is not what we are supposed to be. I hate this planet. I hate all of you.”
I could not believe my ears. This was grounds for banishment into the Devoid Zone. These two children had painted stars all over their faces. Their younger sister decided to paint her face one color. Who in today’s world had a face that was one color? Everyone here looked and dressed the same. It prevented jealousy, arguments, and fashion wars. How dare they go against the laws of this state?
Excerpt from What if? by Fran Lewis. Copyright 2020 by Fran Lewis. Reproduced with permission from Fran Lewis. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Fran Lewis is a reviewer, talk show host, mj network, reading and writing staff developer. She was the administrative assistant to the Principal and created original programs for students after school. She was the music director and created musical festivals along with other staff members. She’s a member of Marquis Who’s Who, Continental Who’s who and who’s who of America’s professionals and educators.
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