After the Deluge

After the Deluge

A Novel of Post-Economic San Francisco

A teenage arsonist threatens a partially submerged mid-22nd century San Francisco. As a Public Investigator “tryout” seeks evidence across the utopian city full of canals and veloways, political and social conflicts erupt. When there is no such thing as property, what is crime, and how does a utopian society protect itself from bad behavior? Should scientists be as free as artists to create? What is a “free market” for work without and money and commodities?

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A provocative and speculative journey to the Bay Area of 2157… more an imaginary treasure map than utopia-by-the-numbers blueprint… This book might show much more in common with Starhawk’s Fifth Sacred Thing if Carlsson weren’t so precisely and persistently allergic to the kind of earth religion Starhawk promotes. After The Deluge is for atheists and agnostics and activists who don’t need the goddess to get their revolutionary groove on.
—Anu Bonobo, Fifth Estate Magazine, Fall 2005

As a great American writer and champion of the rights of working people, Carl Sandburg, once wrote: Nothing happens unless first a dream. After the Deluge is a dream of an intelligently organized America in a coming century. Yet far from a dry polemic, the work presents its arguments through a mystery story both intriguing and revealing, and delightfully full of humorous touches. Here are compelling, flesh-and-blood characters with often contradictory points of view, culminating in a final chapter as effective and arresting as any I have read in decades.
—Daniel Steven Crafts, Emmy-winning composer and social revolutionary (not necessarily in that order)

Many tackle the apocalypse, but not since Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia has a writer envisioned its Left Coast utopian aftermath. In Carlsson’s highly imaginative sci-fi thriller, an alienated teen and an arson investigator reveal the fissures in San Francisco’s revolutionary new society. After The Deluge deserves a wide readership for its vivid blueprint of a sustainable direct democracy set among the still-familiar human cultures and neighborhoods—enhanced by greenways and canals—of the City by the Bay.
Laura Lent, librarian, San Francisco Public Library

Set in a just plausible future in San Francisco, Chris Carlsson‘s first novel explores right and wrong in a too perfect world when human passions, for better and worse, cannot be predicted, controlled, or even gently channeled into willing, mutually beneficial compliance. We may never see the world we dream of, which lies just underneath the city we love and the lives we lead. We need fiction like this to show us the possibilities we might dare to imagine.
Jon Christensen, Steinbeck Fellow, San Jose State University