I first heard about Tom Sweterlitsch’s
novel, Tomorrow and Tomorrow, from JJ Hensley, a fellow author
and contributor to This Awful/Awesome Life. He recommended
I review the book for this issue because there has been serious interest
from Hollywood about acquiring the movie rights. I’m a big believer
in reading the book before seeing the movie whenever possible, so this
opportunity was too good to pass up.
Sweterlitsch writes in the first person present, so his readers will
share the experiences and memories of his protagonist. Our post-911
world view and many of our concerns about society support his dystopian
vision of the future.
Sweterlitsch has created a future controlled by an invasive surveillance
state. Technology supports a society shaped by its baser inclinations.
Commercialism, pornography, and violence are rampant and public executions
are carried out on live television with the blessing of our president.
Thanks to an adware device, which can be surgically implanted in our
head with a special lens for our eye, the internet is available 24/7.
Memories can be recreated and relived. Video footage can be accessed
Ten years after a terrorist attack destroys the city of Pittsburgh,
survivors are still coming to grips with the loss of loved ones and
insurance companies are still settling life insurance claims. John Dominic
Blaxton, whose wife Theresa Marie and their unborn child were killed
during the attack, works as an insurance investigator. While investigating
an undocumented death, Blaxton discovers a woman named Albion whose
existence is being erased. His attempts to save her may become his salvation
if he can survive an intricate game of cat and mouse.
Instead of delving into the attack on Pittsburgh and the terrorists’
motivations, Sweterlitsch focuses on the survivors – what they
remember – the people and things they lost and how they cope.
Despite undergoing therapy, Blaxton dulls his pain with drugs. Unable
to move on, he thinks of his wife constantly and accesses interactive
memories of their life together almost daily.
The seemingly insignificant details Blaxton cherishes make Theresa and
his pain real to us. If you have lost a loved one, these are the things
you remember. Sweterlitsch reminds us life may be measured in years,
but it’s the moments that matter – the everyday conversations,
sights, sounds, smells or the feel of a lover’s touch. These are
the things that only exist in our memories and fade with the passage
Tom Sweterlitsch’s books Tomorrow and Tomorrow and The
Gone World are available in bookstores and in paperback and eBook
on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.