Beyond Soylent Green 2050

Fiction - Science Fiction
97 Pages
Reviewed on 06/17/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

Do you remember the award-winning 1973 sci-fi movie Soylent Green, starring Charlton Heston? If so, and if you enjoyed the premise behind it, you will be both intrigued and entertained by Beyond Soylent Green 2050, written by Michael and Danny D’agostino. This novel definitely goes beyond that movie, not just in time, but in the not unrealistic ramifications of life in the USA today. If you are a senior citizen in the Soylent Green world of 2050, you most likely won’t be alive after the age of 60…unless you have the financial means to buy yourself more time on earth. Instead, you’ll most likely find yourself being shipped off to a human recycling plant to be converted into fertilizer for rich people’s lawns. But three seniors whose time is up, with the help of “the Sandman,” find a way to escape the US of 2050 and head to California, now a separate country. En route, they are joined by a couple of other “California dreaming” travelers, but what this group discovers is that while they might not end up as fertilizer in years to come, California is anything but a dream. Its female president and family live in luxury, work is near impossible to find, and tent people populate the streets of Los Angeles.

Think all this is a bit far-fetched? Well, as the authors point out in the description of this book, and assisted by actual photographs and statistics at the end of the book itself, hundreds of people are already living like this across the US. While the ending of the book has some cool surprises that might bring a smile to readers’ faces, that smile vanishes when you study the photos and stats. What you read in Beyond Soylent Green 2050 is frighteningly possible. With the upcoming US 2020 elections, Americans will once again vote for what they hope will be a better tomorrow, another chance to make America great again. The authors cast doubt that either of the major parties can achieve this lofty goal unless the country goes in the direction the “Regenites” take in this novel. Who or what are the Regenites? Read this novel to find out. Perhaps there is an alternative? Disturbing, but very entertaining reading that leaves you thinking long after you close the book.

K.C. Finn

Beyond Soylent Green 2050 is a science fiction short work penned by sibling author team Michael and Danny D’Agostino. The story develops from the projected imagining of the future of the United States of America only a couple of decades from now, in the middle of the twenty-first century. In a time when petty partisan arguments and the general degradation of government has sparked radical changes and differences in the lives of everyday American citizens, this speculative viewpoint takes us through daily life in a world filled with new technology and much bureaucracy, but very little common sense, it seems. This results in a fascinating fictional work which pokes fun at the prospect that it could be predicting fact.

The author team of Michael and Danny D’Agostino make their mission statement from the offset: to produce an entertaining and eclectic tale which also provides an eye-opener into the current perpetually failing system of government and politics in the USA, and the prospect of how truly ridiculous our future could become if it is left unchecked. The narration is sharp, witty and interesting, though the plot takes some zany turns so you really have to stick with it to the end to fully appreciate the surreal brilliance of what is taking place. Part satire, part science fiction, part serious political commentary, there’s much to take in amid the twists and turns of the everyday plot. Overall, Beyond Soylent Green 2050 is a conceptual and entertaining work that I’d certainly recommend.

Amy Raines

Beyond Soylent Green 2050 by Michael D'Agostino and Danny D'Agostino is set in the year 2050, a time that has become treacherous for anyone over the age of sixty. The United States Government has a microchip program that allows them to keep track of all American citizens. Armed with personal, identifying information, they also have a population control organization in place. The Soylent Green Program takes people that are over sixty and supposedly ‘humanely’ euthanizes them. Only people that have paid for a license to live longer are left alone by Soylent Green but criticized and harassed by others in society. A group is intent on putting an end to the government’s cruelty that has senior citizens living in fear of unnecessary death. Can the group put an end to the new brand of tyranny? Can they put a stop to the Soylent Green Program and render the chips useless before anyone else is senselessly killed?

Beyond Soylent Green 2050 by Michael D'Agostino and Danny D'Agostino has a very strong plot that keeps the reader’s full attention. I simply couldn’t stop reading as Michael, Jeffrey and Henry put their plans into action. The characters are well planned out and described with distinct personalities of their own. I recommend Beyond Soylent Green 2050 to anyone who loves a peek into what the future could be like in the decades to come. I hope this is only the beginning of the story that Michael and Danny D’Agostino have created for what I’m sure will be many fans of their work.

Ruffina Oserio

I found Beyond Soylent Green 2050 by Michael D'Agostino and Danny D'Agostino to be an engaging, realistic narrative with a prophetic message of where the US is headed with its partisan politics and broken government. While readers will encounter compelling and interesting characters, the protagonist of the story is the United States in the year 2050. Technology has evolved and now we have flying cars, state-of-the-art telephones, and gadgets that transform the lives of millions. In 2043, the US isn't what we know today. Global warming has caused a lot of suffering, and after declaring itself to be a sanctuary state in 2018, California has eventually been cut off from the map of the US, becoming a country on its own. The signs of a decadent political landscape started with the squandering of the government coffers, and the suspension of social security and Medicare now pose more complex problems. While a fraction of the population enjoys the benefits of technology, millions wallow in misery. Can the ideals of freedom and equality be a reality in a world where winners live as though the vulnerable never existed?

The narrative is powerful and, although fictional, it echoes so much of contemporary American politics. The themes of climate change, the inequality of equal men, the dichotomy between the working class and politicians are realities that are evident in contemporary politics. There has been a lot of discussion on climate change and readers hear daily of decisions that undermine the welfare of common men. The controversy on the healthcare system is one that has been characteristic of the Trump leadership and it is one of the realities featured in this novel. The prose is captivating and the author’s development of the political setting is impeccable. For instance: “Over time, reality bends and distorts ideals. Economic inequities, profound cultural and political differences can destroy any nation. In the wake of these struggles are the underrepresented and the vulnerable. For them, the impact can be considerably harsh.” Beyond Soylent Green 2050 is a prophetic novel that warns readers of the world we could be headed toward if we fail to return to the values on which the United States was founded. And the warnings of this painful world are just so clear as we follow the political landscape today.

Ray Simmons

I saw a movie called Soylent Green decades ago. It was a scary sci-fi, but it seemed more than a few steps away from the reality I was living as a young man then. It seemed like a possible world but not a very probable world based on society at the time. This is the frightening difference between Harry Harrison’s Soylent Green and Beyond Soylent Green 2050 by the D’Agostino brothers. It is easy to see the future depressing world of Beyond Soylent Green 2050 being created in the politics of America today. A wall around America? No longer a new or unthinkable idea. Social Security failing? One party is already eager to use that money for something else. They just don’t know how to do it without shooting themselves in the political foot. Is California going its own way? Some have been discussing that for years. I see the unpleasant world of Beyond Soylent Green 2050 being built brick by brick into the laws, attitudes, and policies of today and it frightens me to death.

Beyond Soylent Green 2050 by Michael and Danny D'Agostino is so possible that it will cause you to lose some sleep. The characters are from our future but they are Americans who could very well be alive today. That is one of the most frightening aspects of this book. The America of Beyond Soylent Green 2050 is recognizable, but just barely. Climate change, pollution, and overcrowding have taken their toll and the shocking part is that we can look around and see it happening today, but no one is proposing real solutions. The plot is fantastic but totally believable. The setting is grim but uncomfortably familiar. This is a great book. Every American should read it or, since this is America, maybe it should just be made into a good movie. Like the first one.