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Liam Hogan: The Utopia of Us Anthology. Pre-Order Available Now!

Cover of the author Liam Hogan
Liam Hogan on The Utopia of Us

The Utopia of Us anthology is now available for pre-order! Editor Teika Marija Smits has brought together 15 incredible writers and their stories, directly inspired by We by Yevgeny Zamyatin.

It is a charity anthology, and given Russia's current war with Ukraine, royalties from the book will be donated to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

If you pre-order directly from the Luna website, you will also receive a discount. Check it out!

Today we'd like to introduce you to Liam Hogan and the story "A Peculiar Job – The Wash – Someone Waiting for Me".

About the author:

LIAM HOGAN is an award-winning short story writer, with stories in Best of British Science Fiction and in Best of British Fantasy (NewCon Press). He helps host live literary event Liars’ League and volunteers at the creative writing charity Ministry of Stories. More details at http://

Liam on the story:

I read We as a member of the Post-Apocalyptic Book Club (which reads dystopias, as well as apocalypses), circa 2015. I’d already read 1984, and Brave New World, and many others, both in and out of the group, so it was fascinating to see what helped inspire them. I dimly remember the discussion scoring rather higher than the book!

I’ve often argued that you can tell a utopia from a dystopia from how it treats those who don’t fit into the society – and fitting into the society is very much the theme in We and others, forcibly fitting, in the scariest of cases. For my story, ‘The Wash’, I play with that, what happens if people want to fit in, but not all can? If there’s a price point, especially for the early adopters? What does getting left behind look like?

Whereas 1984 might be considered mid-stage only the older folk like Winston remember “before”, and that proves a dangerous thing to do – and We is obviously end stage – it very much feels like there is no before, and possibly no after, it’s the early days of societal change in my story, and it hasn’t entirely shifted away from what we know and understand, though it’s clear that shift is going to be both dramatic and traumatic. Everything changes. Here there are echoes of our current hopes and fears for AI! But, just like We, and 1984, stories are not about the society but individuals living within it, so ‘The Wash’, which contains a fair amount about the mechanics of that shift (it is our narrator’s job to help move it along) is ultimately about just two people, bending the rules to carve out a life the best they can.

TOC of The Utopia of Us
TOC of The Utopia of Us

More on the anthology:

The year 2024 marks the centenary of the first publication of We, the direct inspiration for George Orwell’s 1984, and many other novels, such as Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed and Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano.

Strikingly, the Russian novel was first published in English, and in the US. Indeed, it wasn’t until 1988 that it was published in the author’s native country. Clearly, this was a book that the people in power in the Soviet Union wanted erased. Yet it ushered in a new genre – the future dystopia – and in doing so gave birth to the many dystopian novels and films which have found their way into our popular culture.

Setting aside what its publication history says about Russia’s past, it also happens to be a beautifully written and page-turning novel, and one that is still currently relevant since it speaks to the very heart of what it means to be human. In short, the centenary of this wonderful novel should be, and needs to be, celebrated, and how better to do that than by a globally minded, independent press, publishing an anthology of science fiction stories inspired by We?


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