Monday, March 9, 2009

Sprung forward

If you forgot to change your clocks ahead this past weekend you are actually reading this an hour ago. And why jump just an hour when we can jump years ahead? It seems lately I have been reading a lot of books that take place in the "not too distant future". Unfortunately one of the themes of these "not too distant future" books is that the future is not a very pleasant place.

About a year ago I read The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I found it to be the absolute, number one most depressing book I have ever read. And I mean that in a quasi-good way. It was so well written and dark and possessing that I could not stop thinking about it. I still think about way more than I want to. It's about a man traveling on foot with his young son after a major unnamed apocalyptic event. Perhaps being a father with a young son, it cut a little too close to home. But if you are a masochist and you enjoy this type of fiction, dig in, I know of none better. If there was a benefit, for months after reading this I would hug my son every single time I saw him.

If post-apocalyptic is your thing, but you don't want it quite so depressing, The World Made By Hand by James Howard Kunstler was an interesting read. Set in a small town of Union Grove, New York, Robert Earle tries to lead the town out of the dark when a group of religous extremists move in to the local high school building.

Prayers for the Assassin by Robert Ferrigno is a speculative supsense novel set in the year 2040. The United States has been divided into two after years of civil war. The new capitol of the Islamic Sates of America is in Seattle. They still have the Super Bowl and cheerleaders. But the world is a very different place. Sarah Dougan is an historian who discovers evidence that those blamed for the wars were not really the ones responsible. (If you like this one there is a sequel).

Caleb Carr is mostly know for historical fiction like the Alienist. But in 2000 he wrote Killing Time, a Novel of the Future. This suspense novel takes place in 2023. Here, Dr Wolfe is a criminal profiler who discovers the President's assassination was a hoax. One interesting part of reading a "future" book written nearly a decade ago, is reading about the plague of 2006 and the stock market crash of 07.

If you find these books a bit too depressing, don't worry, Spring is right around the corner. And the future will have to be brighter than it looks in these books!


Anonymous said...

Depressing, you want depressing? Orwell's tale of the future 1994 is long past. And Homer Simpson is 38 years old. I have underwear that's older than that!

Anonymous said...

I love this stuff. My favorite post-apocalyptic book is actually a trilogy by Mitchell Smith that starts with Snowfall. A natural disaster on a large scale (Jupiter changes its orbit) plunges the Earth into a new ice age and most technology is lost. It almost feels like historical fiction, with various tribes and clans jostling for power in what was North America, but you can see the remnants of medicine and literature and cities. The writer has a very sly sense of humor as well.

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