Brian is surrounded by family and friends at his 54th birthday party. He has an important job & contributes to society. He’s the picture of health at a time when life expectancy has been extended by 40 years or more. But New America says his time is up.
Set in Raleigh, North Carolina in a dystopian New America, “55” presents ageism in its cruelest form. Anyone over the age of 55 is deemed to be a drain on society because they consume too many resources and do not contribute enough. Brian lived through the devastating famine that precipitated the rise of the new society, and he raised his family under the new rules. The luxuries of his former life, such as the ability to have a family pet, are now reserved only for the ruling class, who are allowed to live nearly indefinitely because of advances in the pharmaceutical industry.
Brian’s daughter, a rising political star in New America’s drone program, is thriving in the new society. But she can do little to save Brian and appears to simply use him to advance her own career. Resigned to his fate, Brian carries out the duties required of him in the final year at his job, including training a young protege eager to advance. Brian’s work involves the testing of the government-mandated microchips that are required to function in every aspect of life, including buying food, attending school, and going to the doctor. He soon discovers a new sinister use for the microchips and is determined to sabotage the project and save himself at the same time, all while dealing with his daughter and her powerful allies.
Brian’s cause is more important than he realizes, with the potential to impact the entire world. But, all is not as it seems. The circumstances that brought the former United States to its knees were no accident, and Brian’s daughter is in a position to set them all in motion again. Brian finds his own allies in the lawless “bush country,” as well as the truth about New America.