Maggot Moon, by Sally Gardner, is set in a fictional country much like this one, but with a twist. The world that 15 year-old Standish Treadwell lives in exists as a ‘what if’ scenario… a bleak totalitarian world that resembles what might have been had the outcome of the war gone a slightly different path.
Standish is caught up on the machinations of the totalitarian ‘Motherland’ whose ambitions to reach the moon are pursued at the expense of its citizens. In the book, the moon landing is similarly a symbolic accomplishment for the government, a demonstration of its technological and military prowess. As an escape Standish and his only friend Hector fantasize about launching their own rocket. Bypassing the moon altogether, they set their sights on “Juniper”, an imaginary planet which embodies their desire to transcend the terror of their world, in favour of a new one full of possibility and hope.