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YMMV / Alas, Babylon

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  • Fair for Its Day: The author was, in some ways, incredibly progressive.
    • The most capable individuals are black: Malachai, the non-drinking mechanic who knows war is coming because he keeps up with the news who is responsible for the folks on River Road having running water; Preacher Henry, who is a more than capable farmer and expert fisherman whose knowledge, passed on to young Peyton (a girl), helps keep the people of River Road from starving in August. He also, without any comment from anyone, presides over Randy and Libby's wedding. Even Two-Tone, who mostly is an arch-typical Lazy Shiftless Black Guy, manages one or two moments where he is genuinely useful.
      • Racism generally dies in the town when the white residents realize that the black residents are more capable of living off the land and generally aren't starving as a result.
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    • The women aren't housewives or trophies. Lavinia's house may have been poorly designed for Florida, but the fact is she designed a house. Libby resents being sidelined as a woman, but her degree in psychology comes in handy for understanding the pressures put on the various citizens of River Road. Where the boys are content to settle into their roles and take orders, Peyton's the one who explores and strives to contribute on her own.
    • Everyone is more surprised by the fact that the new President is a woman than that she was the Secretary of Education. Her inaugural address even says something along the lines of "The fact that I, the former Secretary of Education and a woman, am addressing you should tell you how bad things are".
  • Inferred Holocaust: If the USA can suffer such catastrophic damage and still be considered the victor, then the Soviet Union must be in a ghastly state. The only knowledge the characters and reader get of their situation is that at last report their government was ruling from Mongolia.
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