A small Mid-Atlantic city copes with a megachurch (that might be a cult), a physical-fitness tradition known as “slapboxing” and a population of unruly domestic-servant robots. Just another day in the 21st century.
You may have guessed that Cross River, Md., exists only in fiction, but as you read Rion Amilcar Scott’s “The World Doesn’t Require You,” Cross River will take on a veracity that rivals any number of real places. While the D.C.-based Scott began his Cross River world-building in a 2016 collection titled “Insurrections,” readers new to his work will find this book a world unto itself, both in terms of completeness and in terms of genre. Like his first work, “The World Doesn’t Require You” consists of “Stories.” These stories, or sections, vary wildly in length, from just a couple of pages to the final novella, “Special Topics in Loneliness Studies,” clocking in at nearly 150.