United States of Japan is set in a gripping alternate history where the Japanese Empire rules over America with huge robots. Is resistance possible in the form of subversive video games?
Decades ago, Japan won the Second World War. Americans worship their infallible emperor, and nobody believes that Japan’s conduct in the war was anything but exemplary.
Nobody, that is, except the George Washingtons, a group of rebels fighting for freedom. Their latest terrorist tactic is to distribute an illegal video game that asks players to imagine what the world might be like if the United States had won the war instead. Captain Beniko Ishimura’s job is to censor video games, and he is tasked with getting to the bottom of this disturbing new development.
But Ishimura’s hiding something…kind of. He’s slowly been discovering that the case of the George Washingtons is more complicated than it seems, and the subversive video game’s origins are even more controversial and dangerous than the censors originally suspected.
A spiritual sequel to Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, United States of Japan carries on the legacy of Dick’s famous alternate history, focusing on how Americans and Japanese deal with their guilt and troubled relationship to the past.
Peter Tieryas is a character artist who has worked on films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Alice in Wonderland and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.
His novel, Bald New World, was listed as one of Buzzfeed’s 15 Highly Anticipated Books as well as Publishers Weekly‘s Best Science Fiction Books of Summer 2014.