by Max Barry

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The Emirate of
Psychotic Dictatorship

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It's not just posers who wear oversized sound-cancelling headphones as they walk the city streets.
Maxtopians are both starving and giddy after the Qasimistani military unleashed its biological weapons.
Safe drinking water is considered a luxury.
Children who can't memorize their multiplication tables are sent to the mines.
Unwary hikers climbing the bluffs of Mount Qasimistan City make great practice for foreign snipers.
International trade can be a pain to deal with.
War criminals are given full state funerals.
Truck drivers turn their engines off and coast whenever they're going downhill.
The police think a properly conducted criminal investigation is a real pain.
Pollution is on the rise along with government approvals of fracking projects.
Getting your license is a rite of passage for young adults.
Many are asking why the latest naval vessel is named after Saint Bartholomeus the Many Handed.
Environmental protestors are being rounded up and taken away in sinister black vans as a massive land development campaign gets underway.
Ritual mummification is making a comeback.
The country's famous rainforests are being bulldozed by the mining industry.
Military spending recently hit a new high.