Despite the advert copy, this reads more like Thomas Pynchon than George Saunders. Orphan, Reader's Digest (named after the magazine), pilgrimages in a picaresque adventure to the said magazine's home town in New York, to find this America it describes.
Fractal Paisley: This collection, a humorous triptych to the strange, mashing up people in unusual mixes, was up for the World Fantasy award. The main characters of "Master Blaster and Whammer Jammer Meet the Groove Thang", Master Blaster and Whammer Jammer are moving men while the Groove Thang is a music-making alien. It is also a good-mood-making and a trouble-making one as well, but they manage to bring a bigger sense of semi-religious wonder to the lower classes. "Lennon Spex" hit the Nebula nominations and the year's collection. With his spex, he can see that people have medusa tendrils (shades of A. E. Van Vogt?). These tendrils represent connections to the world--patriotism, obedience, loyalty, familial love, and partner love. Babies and monks, though, have a single tendril going who knows where. The narrator uses his spex to do good in the world.