B O O K S W O R T H B U R N I N G
Jeff Vande Zande
Rules of Order
Rules of Order tells the story of Harvey Crowe, a community activist, who lives in what could be the last remaining high-rise building in a wrecked city. Cracks in the ground-floor apartments are appearing exponentially. The building’s structural strength can’t possibly hold the load it bears. Crowe works to inform tenants on the upper floors that the weight of their possessions could bring the entire building down. Working with the Anti-Collapse Trust, Crowe encounters obstacles to his message, including indifferent tenants, his self-doubt, hostile security guards, and a co-op board headed by the corrupt Chairman Burke. Even as Crowe makes meaningful alliances with other influential tenants, he can feel the way they are working against a ticking clock. With time running out, Crowe and his militant colleague Dagmar carry out a desperate plan to save what might be the city’s last habitable space.
“Vande Zande creates a world that is tangible, bizarre, and too close for comfort. With a rich, clear voice, he leads us through a place that is at once a home and a constant source of conflict, showing us the different ways its inhabitants contribute to its destruction. Rules of Order is a haunting metaphor for our current times, where we are perched precariously on the precipice of complete devastation.”
— Jesi Bender, author of Dangerous Women and Kinderkrankenhaus
In this excellent novel of speculative fiction, Jeff Vande Zande reveals a clarity and depth of understanding of our current world and the world to come that one seldom sees but always seeks. He writes with grace and brilliance and a sense of dark humor that suggests he has the gift that Don Delillo and J G Ballard and all of the great writers of speculative fiction have.
— John Guzlowski, author of Echoes of Tattered Tongues and the winner of the Eric Hoffer/Montaigne Award
Rules of Order is a fresh and welcome take on the dystopian novel. Within one story, one building, Vande Zande manages to go beyond what is expected, bringing together elements of mystery, romance, action, environmental awareness, and political intrigue, all told with a clean and effortless prose that keeps the pages turning. This book is a call to action, with a protagonist worth cheering for, and readers who want to be shook from their slumber would be well advised to take the ride.
— Pete Stevens, author of Tomorrow Music