Review: The New Springfield Chronicles by Julia Platz-Halter

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Nuclear war has destroyed civilization, and now the survivors must rebuild. Their guide in this monumental task? The first ten seasons of the hit animated sitcom, The Simpsons. New Springfield might just be the greatest city in the wasteland, though not everyone is happy. When a brutal new mayor is reelected and begins consolidating his power, a team of rebellious children are forced to act. It’s a desperate plan, but the fate of the world, what’s left of it anyway, may hang in the balance


Julia Platz-Halter is writing interesting books. While listening to talk about the plots of her various works, I say, “I want to read that one. But I also want to read that one. But I also want to read that one.” I finally decided to start my journey into her work with the novella, The New Springfield Chronicle because the premise of this one sticks out just slightly in front of the others. The idea is that a nuclear apocalypse has happened, and the only guide people have to rebuild society is the first 10 seasons of The Simpsons. After a few hundred years of society building, some kids have an idea that there is more to society than this and they try to figure out what they are missing. I thought I was pretty well versed in the Simpsons, especially the first ten seasons because they originally aired when I was a teenager. Honestly many of the references were missed by me, but I know this is not the fault of the book but the fault of the reader. I feel like one of those diehard Simpsons fans that know every episode will enjoy it even more than I did.

The execution of this story is as clever as the premise. The Quimby is using his power to restrict the freedoms in his town, by increasing the wiggums and making sure that everyone follows the rules. The hero of the story, Art, decides that he needs to figure out if there is knowledge and society beyond New Springfield, and he plans to use this to help change the suppressive culture based on only ten seasons of The Simpsons. The story moves fast, and even though the references are limited to only ten seasons, it does not feel like they are redundant or worn out. I would like to know a part of the plot that really is not explored, where the seems to be a procedure they do to keep the third child the “Maggie”, but besides a building and mention of scar tissue, there is no deep exploration (if there’s ever a sequel, I hope it’s about this.) I enjoyed the story, and it has made me start to watch the first ten seasons of the Simpsons just in case I have to use them to rebuild society in the near future. 

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