|This article relies on references to primary sources. (August 2011)|
|Author||J. Neil Schulman|
|Publication date||October 16, 1979|
Alongside Night is a dystopian novel by science fiction writer J. Neil Schulman intended to articulate the principles of Agorism, a political philosophy created by Samuel Edward Konkin III, to whom Schulman dedicated the work. It was first published during 1979 by Crown Publishers, with subsequent paperback editions released by Ace Books during 1982, Avon Books during 1987, Pulpless.com during 1999, and Amazon Kindle during 2009. It has completed production as a feature movie by Stonegait Pictures, Braeburn Entertainment, and Jesulu Productions.
The story is set in United States experiencing economic collapse, with inflation increasing rapidly and the government struggling to keep its power. Trading in foreign currency has become illegal and many shops are subject to rationing. As a result there is a black market for most goods. The setting represents the world as Samuel Edward Konkin III conceived it would be just prior to a successful agorist revolution.
The story begins with Elliot Vreeland, son of Nobel Laureate economist Dr. Martin Vreeland (an economist of the Austrian school) hearing of his father's apparent death and being rushed home from school. He discovers quickly that the death is fake, a plot concocted by his father (after receiving a tip-off) to escape arrest by the FBI who are collecting "radicals" accused by the government of worsening the economic crisis.
Eliot is sent by his father to collect some gold coins that had been stored in a safe location, for use as currency during the families intended escape. However, upon his return Eliot finds his family to be missing. Not long afterward, FBI agents enter the house searching for Eliot, who manages to escape.
Eliot's escape results in him becoming acquainted with the Revolutionary Agorist Cadre, an organisation plotting the end of the US government by means of counter-economics. The cadre has grown strong during the years of its existence, and has its own militia. Eliot enlists the help of the Cadre, and meets Lorimer, a girl similarly hiding from the law.
As the novel progresses, government stability weakens still further, and they begin tight controls of communication, travel and trade. However, they fail to avert economic collapse, causing the private sector (unions, individuals, syndicates and many others) to take control of the old infrastructure.