Written just months before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Norman Spinrad’s Russian Spring might hold the record for the fastest transformation from future SF to alternate history . . .
In the near future, the debt-laden U.S. owns a technology that renders it ‘the world’s best-defended Third World country’. The only functioning space programme is in Common Europe, so young American space cadet Jerry Reed goes to work in Paris, where he falls in love with and marries Soviet career bureaucrat Sonya Gagarin.
Twenty years later, Sonya’s star has risen with the Euro-Russians’ while Jerry has been stymied by pervasive anti-Americanism. Their daughter Franja has her father’s space fever and enrolls in a Russian space school, while son Bob, fiercely curious about an earlier, admired America before it was run by xenophobic ‘Gringos’, enters Berkeley.
A decade on, the U.S. is a pariah, Euro-Russia is the pet of the civilized world and the Reeds are scattered across the globe. But will political and personal pressures force the family apart? Or will world events – for good or ill – reunite them in common purpose?