Aside from John Michael Greer’s several deindustrial novels (Star’s Reach, Retrotopia, the Weird of Hali series), Catherine McGuire’s Lifeline is, if I am not mistaken, the first full novel to emerge into publication from the deindustrial fiction community that sprang up around Greer’s After Oil anthologies and carried over to Into the Ruins and New Maps.
I could rhapsodize a great deal more about the fine writing, emotional power and originality of Arboreality, but suffice to say that for connoisseurs of deindustrial fiction, it isn’t to be missed.
Kim Conklin’s King of Hope is a dark and heavy first novel about a town plagued by nuclear waste.
Last year, author and publisher Shaun Kilgore put out a call for stories for a new fiction anthology. The prompt was to write a tale in which life in a modern industrial city grinds to a halt due to a sudden disruption to its power supply.
In his anthology An Archdruid’s Tales, Greer seeks to use fiction, together with a few nonfiction forays into future scenarios, as a means of painting a more accurate picture of what lies ahead for industrial civilization.
J. Courtney White’s The Sun is at once an entertaining murder mystery and an earnest look at the many crises confronting the American West.
Craig Russell’s Fragment succeeds on multiple fronts. On one level, it’s a fascinating work of idea-fiction that tells a tale of first contact between humans and whales. It also spins an absorbing thriller yarn in which a motley group of humans and a lone, heroic whale join forces to face an unprecedented threat. On a third level, the book offers important insights into the gravest ecological reality of our time, climate change, without ever coming across as didactic or preachy.
Three more offerings from the incessantly fertile mind of John Michael Greer.
While Elsie’s annoying qualities as a narrator dampen her effectiveness as an environmental agitator, the points she makes are spot on. She eloquently admonishes her human readers, "You can’t just wear the food chain around your neck like a bauble or necklace. You’re part of it and if you keep treating it with disdain, that chain will strangle you."
In the category of thrilling fiction about our post-industrial future, James Howard Kunstler’s World Made By Hand novels have no equal.
‘After Oil: SF Visions Of A Post-Petroleum World’ is a short story collection edited by John Michael Greer.
•The War on Scarcity •The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future •Without Water, Revolution •Turkish hopes for a new beginning •The Stockholm Uprising and the Myth of Swedish Social Democracy •The Natural Limits Of Confronting Our Limits •Days of Destruction