The Not Yet
by Moira Crone
274 pages • $15.95 • ISBN: 9781608010721 • April 2012 • Add to Cart
Finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award, 2012
October Selection, Science Fiction Club of Central London
Times-Picayune, New Orleans, Top Ten Books, 2012
Goodreads, Best Underdog Literature, 2012
It’s 2121. The Heirs live for centuries. Wealthy and ruthless, they control society’s resources behind walled city-states. Outside, the poor barely survive. Malcolm de Lazarus, a “Not Yet,” has toiled from early childhood to join the elite. But his fortune disappears overnight. He sails home to the chaotic New Orleans Islands, just outside the empire, for answers. Along the way he encounters the dark side of the Heirs’ privilege, that threatens everything and everyone he loves.
"Moira Crone’s simple observation that New Orleanians, like people everywhere, really want to live forever, clearly leads into a world of ethical marvels, perversities hitherto undreamed of. Her narrator, an ambitious outsider, a pure Dickensian foundling, is perfectly situated to guide the reader on a revelatory journey to where we are headed right now."
—Valerie Martin, author of The Confessions of Edward Day
"Moira Crone’s The Not Yet
is as thought-provoking
as a novel can get."
—Tim Gautreaux, author of The Clearing
"To classify this novel in any way would detract from its ability to resonate on many levels, as myth, as high literature, as science fiction, as fantasy, with the hints of a graphic novel in the rich imagery and finely honed writing….I have not read a more compelling novel in a very long time."
—Jim Grimsley, author of Dream Boy
"The words Crone puts in the mouths of her 22nd century Nats and Heirs are marvelous. The truncated words will remind readers of the Anglo-Russian slang, Nadsat, that the 'droogs' used in Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange. It’s not an argot, though, it’s English, even if it is a bit perplexing at times. Another similarity to Burgess’ book is that while it’s set in the future, Crone’s book is really about now. The questions of privilege and class, allocation of resources and reproductive rights are not things to come, they’re today’s political issues. We’re not yet to the point of Heirs and Nats, but the gap in life expectancy between members of rich societies and members of impoverished societies is startling. A license to procreate is not an abstraction. Ask the Chinese.
What Crone has combined is wry social commentary in the vein of Swift or Voltaire with a dystopian coming-of-age tale. It’s a brilliant book full of adventure and humor and no small amount of pathos. Best of all, Crone uses her book to ask what it means to be human, a question all of us Nats need to keep asking ourselves."
—Greg Langley, The Advocate, May 13, 2012
"Moira Crone's new novel might make you want to die. If so, I believe the author's intention will have been realized. The Not Yet is a richly imagined dystopian novel set about a century from now. Its dark vision of the future on a national and global scale resonates with earlier efforts in the genre, like Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time (1976), Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale (1985), A.D. Nauman's Scorch (2001), and even H.G. Well's The Time Machine (1895). This is not to say that Crone's imagination is derivative or unoriginal, though. Like Atwood, Nauman, and Wells, Crone predicts a hardening of class society and the disappearance of whatever illusions of social mobility that have made class society a consensus society in our own times. There's an environmental angle, too, as current as one could hope, with due attention to global warming and sea level rise and how these factors have altered the landscape of the planet in drastic ways. The most original aspect of Crone's novel is how it's a regionalist dystopian novel, imagining in very plausible, logical ways how New Orleans and environs would look in a worst-case scenario of today's immanent social, economic, and climatological forces. In doing so, she not only constructs the detailed verisimilitude of a scary future society, but she also makes the case for New Orleans literature as a specific body of work, spanning several genres but containing a set of conventions, themes, and tropes that set it apart from broader categories like "American" or "Southern" literature... Her attention to detail, character, and storytelling are the icing on the cake, as her arguments about meaningful living blend seamlessly into a pleasurable reading experience, to be savored like rich food."
—C. W. Cannon, American Book Review, May/June 2012
Moira Crone is a fiction writer living in New Orleans. The author of three previous collections including What Gets Into Us, and a novel, A Period of Confinement, her works have appeared in Oxford American, The New Yorker, Image, Mademoiselle, and over forty other journals and twelve anthologies. She has won prizes for her stories and novellas, and in 2009 she was given the Robert Penn Warren Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers for the entire body of her work.