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In the Drift

3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  140 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
The meltdown at Three Mile Island created the death zone known as the Drift, where the sky burned dark blue and pink, and where boneseekers destroyed bodies within. Two-headed monsters, dog-faced boys, mutated vampires and other undesirables were thrown into the Drift. Now, they're coming out.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published February 1st 1987 by Ace (first published 1984)
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What began as an interesting premise was then diluted into a very dull fix-up of interrelated stories all taking place in a world where the crisis at Three Mile Island was not averted and the plant melted down taking out a good chunk of Pennsylvania with it. The uninhabitable zone is the aforementioned "Drift" of the title. Swanwick sets his story approximately 100 years from the meltdown and his cast of characters include mutants, city workers, and regular citizens dealing with a world changed ...more
This is Swanwick's first novel, but we can already see both his strengths and weaknesses. His strength in making unforgettable characters and settings in a few paragraphs, and his weakness in weaving the story through more than a few pages. So we get a episodic novel, more like three short stories with connecting chapters than a true novel.

Atomic catastrophes are now a past fad, but I am old enough to remember how worrying it was at the time. The story reads as a precursor to the Fallout series
Sara Leigh
Aug 28, 2015 Sara Leigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this years ago, probably when it was first published. I honestly don't remember much other than it being a good read.
Jun 29, 2015 Gerard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
The beginning of the story shows much promise, but in the second half the tension decreases. That's why I find the end of the story a bit of a disappointment.
Jul 23, 2013 Yupa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
L'opera prima di Michael Swanwick.
Romanzo di fantascienza post-catastrofe (nucleare), onesto ma non strepitoso.
Dettaglio realistico affiancato a speculazioni visionarie e soprannaturali, malinconia di fondo, umanità dolente e molto cinica, poco interesse per una trama compatta.
Caratteristiche che l'autore metterà al servizio, in maniera assai più efficace e originale (a tratti un po' esasperata), nella bilogia dei Draghi del Ferro e del Fuoco: La figlia del drago di ferro (1993) e I draghi di ba
May 13, 2015 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2001 grade C+
Justin Smith
Jul 27, 2011 Justin Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
Enjoyable blend of alternate history and SF. Three Mile Island went into meltdown 100 years before and changed The US forever. Now nothing more than a 3rd world country, The US has been broken into separate states surrounding The Drift. A radioactive wasteland that was formerly Pennsylvania, is now a haven for mutants and outcasts.
Kevin Brown
Jun 12, 2014 Kevin Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I agree with the critique that Swanwick doesn't tell very coherent stories - his works end up being much more episodic than one expects from a novel. However, I still rate this book highly because it, like his other works, is so literary. His writing is simply far better than most SF writers.
Florin Pitea
Apr 08, 2013 Florin Pitea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it in 2000. Enjoyed it to some extent. For a detailed presentation, please visit my blog:
Mar 31, 2012 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gripping dark tale of life after a nuclear disaster. Harsh realities befall the characters and one characters journey takes a dark twist.
Sep 22, 2013 Aaron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The mummers? Really?
read 06.15.87
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