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28 October, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: "Flood" by Stephen K. Baxter

I have a confession to make: I dig what I call Doomer Fiction.  That probably shouldn't be a big surprise, considering that I run a websites about survivalism / emergency preparedness / homesteading, etc cetera; I point it out, however, because I know many, even in our eclectic community, prefer to decompress with lighter fair.  Not I.  The only thing I probably enjoy more than Doomer Fiction is Sci-Fi/Fantasy, but, even then, it has to be really good Sci-Fi/Fantasy.

Anyway, my most recent Doomer Fiction read was "Flood" by Stephen K. Baxter (Kindle edition ), which I finished just a few days ago.

Basically, the book presents a fictional portrayal of a hypothetical scenario based on real scientific theories (always my favorite!); these being that there are vast amounts of water trapped deep within the Earth's crust, left over from the tumult that occurred as the planet formed -- enough, in fact, to dwarf the above-the-crust oceans of which we humans are aware.  You can guess the rest easily enough, I'm betting: geological shifts open fissures in the ocean floor, resulting in these previously trapped waters fountain-ing (I'm fairly certain that's not really a word) up into our world.  As expected, the oceans rise exponentially all over the globe over the proceeding decades.

All in all, it was a good book, but the final product seems to fail to capitalize on such an awesome premise.  No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't make myself care about the characters.  I basically spent the novel paying more attention to the news that trickled between the characters about how the flood was impacting different areas of the world and the interactions between governments, corporations, et cetera, than in being engrossed in the plight of the people supposedly experiencing it.  It was also unique in that the disaster plays-out over a period of 36 years from 2016-2052, rather than the typical fast-crash post-apocalyptic aftermath we often see in Doomer Fiction.  Also, you can tell it was written by a British author: more than once I found myself having to Google an atlas of England to pinpoint where the story was taking place when reading parts of the book where England was the setting, such is the detail regarding the towns/cities/regions described.  Not that I consider that a bad thing; I just thought it was worth mentioning.

Would I buy it again or recommend it to others?  Yes, but with the caveat that it probably won't be the book you drive all your friends crazy about until they've read it too and can discuss it with you.

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