Ms. Shriver has good fun with futurisms, including the continuing reign over Russia by Vladimir Putin,“Mr. President for Life”; a U.S. presidential primary whose challenger is “leftwing grandee Jon Stewart”; and a tempered use of invented slang (“roachbar” is bad, “malicious” is good). She also does a fair share of ironic upending, in line with one of her character’s observations that “plots set in the future are about what people fear in the present.” American TV features “two-thousand-some channels streamed en Español”; “Lats” like President Alvarado now run the country; automated voices instruct listeners to “press two for English”; and for all intents and purposes “America is now Greater Mexico, and the Continent is an extension of the Middle East.”
Lionel used to review for The Inquirer. We exchanged emails, spoke over the phone very occasionally, and at least once, met each other. Among the most enchanting, genuinely original persons I have ever met. Oh, and she is super smart.