Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Slow Apocalypse-John Varley

Slow Apocalypse

John Varley

Ace, Sep 4 2012, $25.95

ISBN 9780441017577

Eddie Parker worked on bacteria that would clean up oil spills and from there he soon became part of the Prometheus Project to increase oil production via enhancing pressure. However, Eddie conceals his secret agenda to unleash a bacterium that solidifies Saudi Arabian oil for what the country’s terrorists did on 9/11. At the Ghawar oil reserve, Eddie releases his destruction. Eddie’s plan deploys perfectly except for one minor nuisance. The solidification fails to stop in the Arabian Peninsula as the bacteria goes internationally viral.

In Southern California, screenwriter Dave Marshall learns from a government insider friend that his script on oil actually is happening around the globe. As he prepares to keep his family safe from the worst that is coming, the world collapses into deadly local chaos.

This is an entertaining post-apocalyptic thriller in which the Marshall plan leads to a happy solution for him, his family and his friends as fans will appreciate how much oil is a cog in the modern world and not just as a fuel. However, with the focus on an affluent in the know protagonist, the pandemic impact of the vanished oil implosion on the unaware and less fortunate lacking resources is not explored as that would have proven much more exciting and enlightening. Still readers will enjoy John Varley’s take on life without oil to grease the world.

Harriet Klausner

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