Rash is a 2006 novel written by Pete Hautman. It is set in the year 2074, in a futuristic United States, now called the United Safer States of America, that has become obsessed with safety and security. Nearly every potentially unsafe action has been criminalized, to the point that 24% of the population is incarcerated. Ironically, this large criminal population also provides the manpower that fuels the large corporations that now dominate the country.
Kirkus Reviews calls the book "a winner", saying that it is "bitingly funny and unexpectedly heartwarming". "In a starred review, PW called this dystopian fantasy of a futuristic nation wracked by litigiousness and terrorism "intelligent and darkly comic."
Hautman's intent in writing Rash was to consider the consequences of the current trend toward increased safety and security that we see in the United States today. He says that the book could perhaps be called "2084", due to themes similar to those present in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.[this quote needs a citation]
Almost all the computer systems in the novel are called "WindO", blatantly referencing the Microsoft operating system Windows. A "WindO" is a standardized tablet PC that has seemingly replaced any other PC.
- 2006. "RASH." Kirkus Reviews 74, no. 11: 573. Literary Reference Center, EBSCOhost (accessed June 11, 2011).
- 2007. "FICTION REPRINTS." Publishers Weekly 254, no. 49: 58. Literary Reference Center, EBSCOhost (accessed June 11, 2011).
- Corbett, Sue. 2006. "Safety--at What Cost?." Publishers Weekly 243, no. 19: 67. Literary Reference Center, EBSCOhost (accessed June 11, 2011).