James Boice grew up in Centreville, Va., and fled as soon as possible. But the New York City resident is still obsessed with Northern Virginia: His second novel is titled NoVA, and his new book, The Good and the Ghastly, is set there—albeit in the 34th century. It depicts a postapocalyptic society in which Northern Virginia is its own state, deer are pets, and Visa is the corporate overlord of everything. The story follows a young gangster and a revenge-minded mother, but their violent adventures give Boice a chance to punch out satirical social observations with the rage of a type A dude caught in Beltway traffic. His nervous prose recalls the tough-minded bluntness of Bret Easton Ellis and Chuck Palahniuk—though Boice claims The Good and the Ghastly was inspired instead by two Williams: Shakespeare and Faulkner.

James Boice discusses his book at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.

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