German novelists compete with reality to describe how life in the UK could be about to change
The scene is Europe, about 40 years from now. Climate change has turned the Netherlands into a swamp and Portugal into an economic powerhouse, thanks to wave-energy plants paid for by wealthy Brazilian investors.
Across the continent there are fears about Christian fundamentalist terrorists carrying out arson attacks on abortion clinics. Europol use walkable holograms to recreate crime scenes, and swarms of drones patrol the streets of Brussels, the administrative capital of an EU recently expanded to 36 member states.
Britain, however, is still part of the bloc of nations. Because, although Margaret Thatcher is by now only vaguely remembered as an “English separatist from the 20th century”, the joke for anyone reading Tom Hillenbrand’s sci-fi thriller Drone State now is that Brexit still hasn’t happened.
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