Published: May 2017
266 Pages / 122,000 Words
$2.99 / $9.95
Kindle Edition Print Edition
Ebook available exclusively at Amazon
Print edition available everywhere books are sold
80 years after the publication of "Anthem" comes a new continuation of the story.
EQUALITY 7-2521 has vowed one day to return and free his brothers. Now that day has come!
An action-packed and thought-provoking sequel to Ayn Rand's 1937 novella Anthem, set in a future dystopia where the singular pronoun has been removed from human language. Every event of every day is determined by The World Council. Life ends at 40.
"And the day will come when I shall break all the chains of the earth, and raze the cities of the enslaved, and my home will become the capital of a world where each man will be free to exist for his own sake."
True to the Objectivist philosophy, "I" presents essential tenets of metaphysics and epistemology in an entertaining continuation of Rand's classic dystopian tale of totalitarian oppression.
"We heard that you had gone to the Uncharted Forest, for all the City is speaking of it."
- Liberty 5-3000
After Equality Comes Liberty!
- YEAR 581 -
We were happy once. We were filled with laughter, for we loved our brothers. We looked upon the world and saw that it was beautiful. Our life was good, for it was orderly. We had a place where we belonged, and therefore we were blessed.
The City Leaders are wise and know all things. But we are wrong.
We wished to be an Artist, before our Day of Choosing. We drew pictures in the Home of Students when we should have studied, which is a sin. We painted on the walls without permission, for which we were chastised many times. Of all our brothers we were chained in the basement most, and left there with no light.
When we received our Life Mandate on the first day of our fifteenth year we were not sent to the Home of the Artists as we had wished, but were punished for our crime. The Council of Vocations made of us instead a Street Sweeper, and we died that day, for our joy and hope were taken from us.
But the Council knows all things, and they are wise. Our body is upon this earth only to serve our brothers. Therefore, we raised our right hand before the Council and said: “The will of our brothers be done.”
We are guilty of the great Transgression of Preference, and now we must do penance for our sin, for all the days of our life.
Yet we know that we were fortunate, for this is how we came to work with Equality 7-2521, they who were our friend. The Council knows all things!
But our gladness did not last.
Curse Equality 7-2521! They have taken our contentment from us. Curse them and have mercy on their body, for they are lost.
Equality 7-2521 was our friend, whom we loved above all others, though it is forbidden us to say these words. The Great Doctrine that is carved upon the Hall of Justice tells us All Men Are Created Equal, and thus we must love our brothers equally, putting none above the others.
Even so, Equality 7-2521 was our dearest friend.
But now our friend is dead.
Goodreads Review ★★★★
Thoroughly engrossing, "I" is a worthy sequel to "Anthem." Because I read it right after the memoirs of a writer who lived under both the Nazis & the Communists, the scenarios did not seem implausible or speculative; similar ones have happened only decades ago. I loaned the book to an aunt who may be the #1 living Rand admirer, & she, too, thought very highly of the work. A huge thank you to the author & Goodreads giveaways for sending me a copy.
- Dayna - July 19, 2017
"Compulsively Readable" ★★★★
This is a non-stop, compulsively readable, brilliant, powerful book. Visit a world of heartache, honor and hope and discover what you owe your brother, how to begin to think for yourself, and find the meaning of freedom.
This book grabs you from the beginning and brings you from the shadows into the light as you meet new heroes. An incredible accomplishment from R. Scot Johns and yes, I did tremendously enjoy the journey.
Thanks to R. Scot and Goodreads Giveaways for the signed copy and the opportunity to read this novel.
- Nettie - July 3, 2017
"A Magical Sequel To Anthem!" ★★★★★
One day I found something magical in my mailbox. It was a review copy of R. Scot Johns' spellbinding novel, I: A Sequel to Ayn Rand's “Anthem.” The author sent it to me for consideration, aware that I had previously reviewed ANTHEM, Rand’s 1938 (52-page) dystopian novella.
Truth: At age 71, I am a long-time student of Ayn Rand’s rational philosophy.
Truth: Secretly I often puzzled over Rand’s novella and wondered what untold stories lingered between the lines of her sparse but tantalizing and powerful prose.
Truth: I like sequels for that very reason, but only of very thought-provoking literary tales.
Truth: The uncertain future of our own time and place begs for philosophical insight.
So when I opened the pages of this sequel I did so with an historically honed distaste for Collectivism and the travesty it inflicts on the human condition.
True to Ayn Rand’s use of the third person “we” when referring to the self of any character, “I” carries through with that theme and forges ever greater implications. It becomes increasingly clear that constantly intoning the word “we” literally extinguishes all sense of one's own individuality and personal liberty under totalitarianism.
Indeed, the end product of any totalitarian state is exactly this, where:
“We are one in all and all in one.
There are no men but only the great WE,
One, indivisible and forever.”
Such haunting words remind the reader that, even today, maybe especially today, there are those who intone similar notions about gender, sexuality, race, political correctness and, above all, economic equality. And we perceive the mantra of wealth distribution as an overriding feature of collective rule. “We are one together. We are never alone.” say the wealth distributors; after all, we do nothing and are nothing by ourselves.
R. Scot Johns masterfully but gently invokes Rand’s notions of Objectivism by SHOWING US how Collectivism works in extremis, instead of just TELLING US about it. We can see and feel for ourselves how it must be to live where self is not only banished but its expression is forbidden. Things become ever more clear when the Council of Scholars proclaims creativity as treasonous transgressions against the state; when the Council of Eugenics cleanses us of race impurities by terminating the lives of those who lack the requisite genetic purity; and when tongues are cut out and speakers of unspeakable words are burned at the stake. There is much more that will captivate and also cause your muscles to writhe with tension.
Those who know of Ayn Rand’s work are, of course, familiar with such things but the masses are not, nor are our children even though the future is theirs to make of as they will.
I loved this book and I think even Ms. Rand would smile upon it knowingly. It gives depth to her rational concepts without sacrificing their integrity in any way. Even more importantly, it evokes a sense of urgency about the ever-looming perils of totalitarian rule and what we as individuals can and must do to counter it.
PS. This is also a triumphant love story. Sh-hhhhhh!
- Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph - June 29, 2017