In a wild and crazy novel composed equally of black humor and deep, humane insight, George Alec Effinger strips away the veneer of civilization, revealing the deep truths by which we all live. Without the culture we have accumulated, existence is sometimes a nightmare, sometimes absurd, sometimes courageous and wonderful. Utopia 3 is a movement spreading through the world, a project designed to mold everyone into people devoted to brotherhood and peace. A large portion of Europe is set aside for members of the pilot program. Each member is permitted to travel anywhere within the project, do anything, take anything without limit. Each person undergoes an indoctrination designed to prevent destructive or harmful acts. This is the meaning and hope of Utopia 3.
This story focuses on three people: Eileen Brant, a weary young woman escaping the dead-end life she was leading; Justin Benarcek, a man who tries either too hard or not at all; and Bo Staefler, who, accompanied by a silent Arab boy, accidentally joins Utopia 3 by standing too near the genuine members at the wrong moment. These three people are caught up in a growing scheme, a deadly and evil plan that threatens to destroy the project and, ultimately, the entire world. A conflict greater than any war in history is about to be unleashed and only Brant, Benarcek, and Staefler can hope to prevent it.
Death in Florence has also been published as Utopia 3.