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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Town 20: The Second American Revolution by Timothy A. Freriks is a dystopian tale and a social-political commentary on the state of inequality and its impact on America’s future. Seventy years from now, America has devolved into its polar opposite as an arbitrary corporation takes control of everything. The majority of the populace serves The Unity, and they are designated into numbered towns where each renders a specific product or service. While the few privileged of the ruling class enjoy a life of luxury from the labors of the many, they have overlooked a weak spot in their armor. Town 20 is responsible for the IT functions of The Unity, and a citizen named Markus 4573, a brilliant programmer who has deservedly ascended to a most critical position in The Unity, will soon become instrumental in bringing down an oppressive system upon his discovery of anomalies.
Much like 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, Timothy A. Freriks’s Town 20 is a grim story that tells of a future in which something goes horribly wrong and throws society into a system that leads to oppression as a solution to controlling the citizenry. This tale may appear in the literary/sci-fi canon as a study in comparative dystopian fiction. It has its parallels when it comes to using technology as an element in wielding absolute power. It’s a cautionary tale, one that is likely to happen if we do not guard the very rights that democracy ensures. Town 20 is disturbingly simple, yet it revels in the power of its simplicity. This is a must-read for fans of dystopian science fiction.