UNITED STATES — Fans lined up outside bookstores in the hours leading up to midnight to lay their hands on the hot new bestseller, “A Promised Land,” the latest in a series from mega-popular author Barack Obama, who is married to the writer of the runaway success “Becoming,” set in the same universe. Some were even dressed in button-downs, khakis or tan suits, an homage to the style of their favorite characters from the series.

“I’ve been waiting for this so long!” enthused one fan, who said she was dressed as Triumphant Vision of Bipartisan Cooperation, a key figure from “The Audacity of Hope” she hoped would continue to play an important role as the series continued. “It ended on such a cliffhanger, and I kept wondering, you know, will Bipartisanship really win? Or will there be a twist that pulls the rug out from under us? What is the arc of history bending toward?” She said she and other fans had spent hours poring over their copies, searching for clues, and nursed many fan theories of what would happen next.

“To me, I think he has to become the president. ‘Dreams From My Father’ could have gone in any direction, but when you add ‘The Audacity of Hope’ to that, there’s a shift in tone, more campaign-like. I think that is foreshadowing him to become the president,” she said. “And I think if he does that, his first move would be to close Guantanamo. But I can’t wait to read and find out!”

“There are some fan theories that really make me laugh,” another fan said, “like, that this is actually going to turn out to be a sequel to ‘Decision Points’ and we’ll wind up in that universe, and he’s going to suddenly be dealing with all the problems left behind by George W. Bush and even take on Osama bin Laden, and his family and Bush’s are going to be, like, buds later and hand each other mints and things — I mean, if it’s a sequel to ‘Decision Points,’ I’m really going to lose it.”

Other fans disagreed. “I know that his serving as president is what happens in ‘Becoming,’” one fan said of the book told from the perspective of the key female protagonist of the Obama series. “But I don’t know if ‘Becoming’ is canon! I thought it was more of an exploration of themes. It’s like, is ‘Solo’ really what happened to young Han Solo, or is it just what Disney thinks happened, you know?”

“ ‘Becoming’ is absolutely canon,” said a fan who had overheard. “ ‘What Happened,’ though?” She indicated a book that is set in the Obama extended universe featuring Hillary Clinton, a character who in “Audacity of Hope” is a Senate colleague and fellow Democrat who makes several appearances, but who in “What Happened” has become first a rival, then an ally, then a would-be successor. “That’s just way too dystopian, totally unrealistic. I think this Extended Universe is way off the rails. I’m just excited to get back to the main narrative.”

Everyone agreed that the wait between books was too long. “It has been 14 years!” one fan said. “What has he been doing all this time? Who does he think he is, George R.R. Martin?”

Another fan complained that CNN, a TV show loosely based on the Obama saga, had been taking enormous liberties in the absence of any further plot from the original author. “I think he must have given them an outline? But they’ve gotten really mired down with this Trump plotline,” they complained. “But it’s because they don’t have any new material. They just are trying to shock us every day with these horrible things. This is why I prefer books to TV. You can tell a story that makes sense.”

“I just want another story of somebody who thinks this country can work, and manages to bring out what is best in us in the course of realizing his own dreams. Which — I have a feeling, in this one, he’s going to get to do, largely unimpeded, with Bipartisanship at his side. I can’t wait to see what the country looks like after this book ends.”

A commotion began toward the front of the line as a spoilsport with a copy of the new book came running past, shouting, “MCCONNELL KILLS BIPARTISANSHIP!”

“What a jerk," one fan said. She shuddered. “I hope that isn’t what happens.”

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