American Soma is comprised of a variety of dystopias, either personal or communal.
The personal dystopias are intended to point to larger communal problems. Each story intended to have allegorical significance
The book’s original title was Behold: Mankind, and was supposed to made reference to social satirist George Grosz’s incendiary 1923 portfolio of satirical drawings, although Grosz's was a more diffuse criticism of mankind.
title story imagines the mass drugging of the nation through popular foods, like pizza, coffee, and beer to assure the results of a presidential election. This is my nod to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.
Story is about the slow morphological adaptations in mankind due to chemicals in our water.
I wrote this in 2004, when fish were found to have both sets of reproductive organs.
Confirmed in April 2009 = PBS ran an edition of Frontline called “Poisoned Waters” which revealed that the environmental threat from chemicals in consumers' face creams, deodorants, prescription medicines and household cleaners…they wash into storm drains.
In "The Fountain," the dirty water of a dive bar toilet can make people younger. Considering that injections of botulism toxins and painful chemical peels are now the accepted way to rejuvenate your appearance, I imagined celebrities reaching into a scummy toilet in order to maintain their youth.
"Postmodern Colonialism" is a not-so futuristic story, which charts conquests achieved through expansion of capitalism and war. In host nations, protective compounds are created, in which American white collar employees (mostly male) are stationed and eventually cannot leave—for safety reasons.