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DAMIEN OBER reads from his book DOCTOR BENJAMIN FRANKLIN'S DREAM AMERICA with BEN LOORY

Doctor Benjamin Franklin's Dream America (Skyhorse Books)

A blazingly original fictional history that weaves twenty-first century technology into a saddle-punk retelling of the American Revolution. It is 1777. Hours after a top-secret Congressional sub-committee uploads the Articles of Confederation, a mysterious internet plague breaks loose in the cloud, killing any user who accesses a networked device. Seven in ten Americans are dead, the internet is abandoned.

Seizing the moment, the British take control of New York and Philadelphia, scattering what little remains of the rebellion. Just when all seems lost, George Washington reappears from off-the- grid to pin the British army at Yorktown. Independence is won, but with the countryside in ruins and internet commerce impossible, the former colonies teeter on the brink of collapse. Meeting in secret, a faction of the Founding Fathers code a new error-proof operating system designed to stabilize the cloud and
ensure everlasting American prosperity. 

Not everyone is happy with the new format. Believing the draconian regulations of the new OS a betrayal of the hard-fought revolution, Thomas Jefferson organizes a feisty, small-government opposition to fight the overreach of Washington's Federalist administration. Their most valuable weapon is Doctor Benjamin Franklin's Dream America, a new open-source social networking portal which will revolutionize representative government, return power to the people, and make Congress and the Presidency irrelevant . . .

Praise for Doctor Benjamin Franklin’s Dream America

“Doctor Benjamin Franklin’s Dream America is as original as they come—an audacious, exuberantly imaginative novel about freedom and technology and the sacrifices each take from the other.”—Scott O’Connor, author of Half World and Untouchable

“Strangely moving and hugely compelling . . . Doctor Benjamin Franklin’s Dream America shattered my thinking as to what a novel can be and do. Nothing less than an alternate history of the birth of the United States that hints at our coming demise.”—Jim Ruland, author of Forest of Fortune

“Ober has mapped the modern superstitious US onto the nation’s beginnings complete with vituperative two-party system controlled by plutocrats (now corporations), history replaced by acceptable mythos (sometimes dependent on choice of party) and with modern communications systems providing impossible forms of social networking in which people live without having to experience reality first hand.”—Jim Chaffee, The Drill Press

Damien Ober's writing has appeared in The Rumpus, NOON, VLAK, The Baltimore City Paper, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet Port.man.teau and B O D Y Literature. As a screenwriter, he has worked in both film and television. He has had a script on the Blacklist and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, most of it on bicycle. Currently he is a writer on the Netflix series The OA. Dr. Benjamin Franklin’s Dream America is his first novel.

Ben Loory is the author of the collection Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day, and a picture book for children, The Baseball Player and the Walrus. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, READ Magazine, and Fairy Tale Review, been heard on This American Life and Selected Shorts, and performed live at WordTheatre in Los Angeles and London. A graduate of Harvard University and the American Film Institute MFA program in screenwriting, Loory lives in Los Angeles, where he is an Instructor for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.

Event date: 
Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
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