Jason (RawBlurb)'s Reviews > The Changes: A Trilogy

The Changes by Peter Dickinson
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's review
Jan 05, 15

bookshelves: reviewed, rated-4-four-star
Read in May, 2010

not sci-fi, more like anti-sci-fi sci- fi? wait.. sci-fantasy? kinda, but still standard sci-fi, but with every day objects?

i really do not know what category this would fall into. it is definitely a young adult trilogy. it was also very good.

Peter Dickinson’s ‘The Changes’ trilogy follows the the experiences of three groups in the UK over a period of about a decade. This is basically a post apocalyptic tale with out the apocalypse.

one afternoon everybody just goes a little bit crazy and it sticks. They fear all things technological. Engines drive them mad and they fly into a fury of destruction. electricity is like witch craft, guns are completely out of the question. even simple machines like a bicycle could cause a mob scene.

in a matter of minutes, even seeing a unmoving vehicle or a telephone sitting idle makes people uncomfortable to the point of walking away.Only people in the UK are affected, the rest of the world fears the spread of their irrational fears.

unlike other turn society on it’s ear novels, these were a bit different because technology still works. people just refuse to use it, effectively placing themselves in a neo-dark age.

Written in the late 1960’s / early 70’s, The Changes trilogy covers three short books (about 200 pgs each).

* Book one is ‘The Devils Children’ followed by
* The Heartease
* The Weathermonger

interestingly, they were published backwards. The Weathermonger was the first published in 1968. it is by far the most Fantasy of the trilogy, it deals with a boy who can concentrate and call storms, fog, end rain, etc. He and his sister are seemingly immune to the effects of ‘the changes’ and are on a tech filled journey to wales, rumored to be where this ailment began. this is the conclusion to the series.

Heartease and the Devils Children were published in the two following years.

As standalone novels, i think that these would be enjoyable, but i believe they are best presented in the trilogy omnibus format. There are some simple introductions included which i am assuming wdid not exist for the standalones. as an example, in the preface, we are translucently introduced to a man ho is excavating in a pit, when he locates a stone slab covering a tomb. when he moves the slab, a bright green light shines out of his pit and the UK changes. you then start immediately into the story of a girl stuck at home awaiting her family. it has been 28 days since the change. these interludes are informative and the individual books would be difficult to link together with out these.

i think one of the huge benefits to this series is its flexibility to fit into modern eras. computers are not mentioned because they were not common household items. there are no lame fall back plots pertaining to cell phone use.. the internet does not exist. the tales do not come across as anything but antiquated.

i highly suggest this for any your adult reader as well as any adult sci-fantasy fan who wants some light but enjoyable reading.

apparently, there is also a 70’s british mini-series i may have to hunt down :)

about the author

Dickinson has written over 50 books and is a very humorous writer from what i can see. i would drink a beer with him.

folks who enjoyed the 1980’s movie “Flight of the Dragons” should note that it was based on one of his books.

on his Random house author page he is described as “Peter Dickinson is a tall, elderly, bony, beaky, wrinkled sort of fellow, with a lot of untidy grey hair and a weird hooting voice—in fact he looks and sounds a bit like Gandalf’s crazy twin, but he’s only rather absent-minded, probably because he’s thinking about something else. Day-dreaming, mostly. [...:]“

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