A Futuristic Novel Perfect for This Election

By John Dorschner
    A newly re-issued novel by a Miami Beach writer seems perfectly timed for this utterly divisive election cycle that has split the country into two camps that can't agree even on common facts -- if facts have any role in the campaigns at all.
    The Big Split, by John Lantigua, is an e-book available on Amazon. It is a "Novel of the Near Future" in which the gun-toting constitution thumpers decide they can no longer live with gun-avoiding, social-conscience peace people -- and so the country splits in two, with a mass migration and house swapping as the two camps decide they must live separately.

    Lantigua, a former writer at The Miami Herald and Palm Beach Post, is a friend of mine, best known to the reading public for his fast-paced crime novels.
    I've zoomed through the first eight chapters of The Big Split, and this certainly is an easy, fun read, with witty insights into the political foibles of this so-called modern era.
    It starts off -- as have many stories in Florida's sad history -- with a developer desperate to sell houses on the edge of the Everglades. In this case, some gun nuts from the Midwest are looking for a place where they can openly carry their penis symbols in public -- and a county commission happily complies, ignoring the fact that the state reserves the right for itself to set gun laws. Mayhem and comedy ensue.
    The split country theme reminds me of Philip K. Dick's brilliant The Man in the High Castle -- recently made into an Amazon streaming series. In that alternative universe, the United States lost World War II. The Nazis control the eastern half of the United States, the Japanese the west coast, with a no-man's-land in the Rocky Mountain region. (Unlike Lantigua's, Dick's vision is not at all funny.)

   The Big Split's background: "I posted it under a pseudonym in 2012. That's because I was still a reporter at The PB Post," he emailed me. He didn't want his own name attached then because he wrote sometimes about politics.
    "It was up a very short time. I recently revised it but very slightly," he explains. "I had a new cover created and put my name on it. My line on this is: 'In 2012 I was ahead of my time, but then Donald Trump caught up with me.' "
    From the book's description on Amazon: "Your beliefs regarding Creationism, stem cell research, immigrants, the proper application of the U.S. Constitution, determine in which state you will live. For those 'underwater' on their mortgages, real estate exchanges are created. Whole families simply swap properties with their political antagonists, without having to exchange even a word with them. Some dream of 'the New Confederacy' and even of a 'Second Civil War.' Some drive east, some drive west and they all drive through the cuckoo’s nest.
    "And if you think this novel is around the bend, brothers and sisters, so is the future!"
    The Big Split is available for download at Amazon.com for $2.99. For more, visit his website: JohnLantigua.com.

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