This is our future, or how our future was imagined by J.G. Ballard in 1962, about two decades before scientists generally began to notice and grow con...moreThis is our future, or how our future was imagined by J.G. Ballard in 1962, about two decades before scientists generally began to notice and grow concerned about a significant spike in the Earth's atmospheric temperature. The Drowned World, though, is not truly a novel about global warming--rising temps and melting icecaps result primarily from solar storms, an event humans can't curb.
This drowned world is much like Earth's Triassic period with humans thrown in the mix and struggling to resettle amid hungry iguanas and alligators. (For a perhaps more realistic SF novel of global warming as we now understand it, I recommend Kim Stanley Robinson's Forty Signs of Rain.)Ballard's drowned world pits scientists like Dr. Robert Kerans and rogues like the bizarre and Kurtz-like Mr. Strangman against an environment that is physically and psychologically hostile toward humanity. It's good mix of 1970s lost world movies like The Land Time Forgot and Heart of Darkness. The hallucinatory psychological adjustments humans have to make to this new environment are as intriguing as the drowned world itself. (less)
This is fun read---a combination of a Traveller RPG adventure, Aliens, Prometheus, Lara Croft and Stanislaw Lem's Solaris.
"In some far distant future...moreThis is fun read---a combination of a Traveller RPG adventure, Aliens, Prometheus, Lara Croft and Stanislaw Lem's Solaris.
"In some far distant future year, the human race has spread out among the stars, encountering other species and an Empire that spans at least this corner of the galaxy. The Empire is ruled from the Imperial City of Tenochtitlan (which he know as Mexico City), the capital of the planet Anahuac. But the advance of Imperial Mexica has revealed that there were earlier powerful interstellar empires, which are long gone now, leaving behind their mysterious artifacts.
When a survey team goes missing, it's up to Dr. Gretchen Anderssen to unravel the mystery, a mystery centered on these ancient artifacts, one that could shake the very foundations of the Empire."---From the Goodreads description(less)
To compare the story of a platypus in search of Old Australia to the allegedly deep, profound post-apocalyptic nihilism of The Road is, it may seem, i...moreTo compare the story of a platypus in search of Old Australia to the allegedly deep, profound post-apocalyptic nihilism of The Road is, it may seem, is an apples-watermelons comparison.
But, shave off Cormac McCarthy's layers pretentious faux Faulknerway prose, and humans-reduced- to-pronouns nihilism, and you have the story of a journey through the heart of darkness that is just darkness and virtually no story.
With Howard L. Anderson's Albert of Adelaide, you get a journey into and out of the heart of darkness, as seen through the eyes of a platypus, Albert, escaped from a zoo to search for a promised land known as Old Australia. What Albert finds instead is a pyromaniacal wombat, drunken bandicoots, a militia of kangaroos (bent on preserving the purity and superiority of marsupialness over other species)and various and sundry misadventures in a barren desert settlement known as the Gates of Hell.
Unlike McCarthy's dark, soulless novel, Anderson has achieved with Albert of Adelaide what few alledged literary do---give readers a story and characters to care about, even as they are committing atrocious acts of violence, and a protagonist worth caring about. Something McCarthy's The Road fails to do.(less)