XX v XY: The Final World War opens in East America, it starts with the evil, yet bumbling, President X’s Last Lady Pageant — yes, the President runs beauty pageants in this novel. He is looking for his sixth, and final (underaged) wife. It’s about 2040 — America is in the middle of a Civil War that centers around gender and race. Author Christina Cigala started writing the science fiction novel five years ago, before politics had taken the US on its current wild ride. She had no intention of writing a book that predicted the future, yet her new novel is remarkably accurate to today’s issues.
In 2011, while Cigala worked as a paranormal researcher for the since-cancelled show Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files on The Syfy Network, she received a phone call. It was for the opportunity to write a novel which had the end goal of putting women in positions of power. With her love of science fiction, she decided to take on the project and write a dystopian story about a family in a country torn apart by futuristic Civil War in America, a Civil war about race and women. At the time the idea of America being on the brink of a Civil War due to gender or sex seemed far-fetched.
After a few years of writing, XX v XY was created. It was published in 2017 by Post Hill Press, and distributed by Simon & Schuster.
Cigala looked at politics differently, she took the fringe, extreme sides of both political parties, and made those topics the main focus of the novel. She opens with a vain President X and his Last Lady Pageant. Her idea was to make a point about child brides in America, a topic she deeply cares about.
The girls in the beauty pageant are shells, stripped of their identity and freedom. Cigala says, “I thought, what’s the worst thing they could do to us? The answer was to take away our agency, strip away our identity.”
At the time she created this dystopian bleak outlook for the women in her story, she had no idea a man who once funded and ran beauty pageants would rule our country; she did not intend to draw parallels to Donald Trump or his political views.
When writing the story, Cigala focused on three evils: people who hate women, people who want everyone to be white, and people who are afraid and will lash out at anything they do not understand. At the time of the story’s development, she thought her novel was an extreme that no one would take seriously, other than to enjoy as a dystopian sci-fi. She did not intend on making a poignant political statement.
Once XX v XY was sent to the editors, she received notes about current events that were remarkably like her story; Trump was President X, Hillary could be Francesca Baron, Luminary in the East, etc. As 2015 hit, and the primaries were in full swing, she laughed at the notion of President Trump (aka a President X) could become the leader of America. She assumed he would soon become irrelevant. She wasn’t a prophet, she made her story up, in a world that wasn’t real. She never expected the yarns she spun would wrap so closely to the truth.
Christina Cigala, a young woman from Texas with a radical dystopian sci-fi future idea that seemed outlandish at the time of creation, has written what could be America’s near future. A war between women and men, a war to overcome a corrupt President, and a struggle to shorten the divide between families ripped a part by politics and differing ideologies. XX v XY, available on Amazon, will astound you at how closely it resembles our current issues of the #metoo and #standup movement, and how quickly we could find ourselves at the brink of a Civil War.