Reading The One-Way Rain is like traveling through a hurricane and a civil war to get home. — Letta Neely
It’s 2023. The government caused 9/11 in order to throw the country into a state of panic, then passed a series of apartheid-like laws to segregate people of color from whites. Now most Black and brown people live in an occupied territory called SAPID (Special Assistance Perimeter Interim District) where the only available work is in unregulated factories, making products for rich white consumers. Sterling Teacher is a white bureaucrat who hates the way things are—not the racial injustice, but the advertising. Moving, talking ads cover every surface of her city, and they drive her so crazy she leads a secret life as a saboteur, breaking into advertising agencies at night. Lore Henry is a Black woman, the daughter of resistance leaders murdered by the authorities. Barely 22, she has already been imprisoned and tortured, and will stop at nothing in her fight for justice. Connecting the two of them is Reka, a twelve-year-old orphan who is living rough in SAPID when two advertising executives decide she will be the perfect face for their new campaign.