About eleven years ago I read this book by Matt Ruff and thought it was goofy. It's set eleven years from now and is the sort of SF that is silly* but still prompts deep and meaningful questions while using the future as a sort of catch-all for technological wonder.

Despite being titled as a "trilogy" this is just one novel in three parts. The story involves: infrastructure (duh), militant ecoactivists who fuck shit up with an amphibious submarine, a disembodied Ayn Rand and a megalomaniacal millionare intent on constructing a modern Tower of Babel. And polyandry, because in the future lovers understand sharing rather well.

The best part for me was Ayn Rand, who espoused all sorts of Fountainheady nonsense. But, really, this is a very serious (and fun!) read that melds the not-so-distant past with the not-so-distant future and will make you think. But not too much.

Sewer, Gas, & Electric was first published in 1997 by The Atlantic Monthly Press and has since been picked up by Grove. I read the one Mass Market Paberpack edition that Warner did in '98. At 464 pages this may seem like a hefty tome, but the well-paced plot makes for an easy to read. 

If you are interested in an exploration of the conflict between free market philosophy and possible futures, then you should read this book. Matt Ruff also lists some of the music he was listening to while writing his novel, which may interest you also. Or at possibly helping you to gauge what sort of a person the author is.


*Adams does use satire to make you think some, yes, but he's mostly silly.

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