Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Review: Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh

Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh
Night Shade Books (www.nightshadebooks.com)

Just about every post apocalyptic work I have ever read, treats the event as an instant or all but instantaneous event. Even movies for that matter, ie oh lets see...the first Mad Max, The Postman (book and movie) oh there are many movie examples, you don't want to drag out a movie I guess, but a book..... but even then its hard to put a finger to any that slowly let the world come apart. Granted, I may be nit picking here, but it does lend itself well to describing Will McIntosh's Soft Apocalypse. It could almost be called slow apocalypse but I bet NSB would have called him on that.

Anyway, Soft Apocalypse instead of taking place fairly quickly, evolves over a decade. The main character Jasper meanders through basically can be called southern United States for the most part. McIntosh has created something of an everyman with Jasper. Not your average post apocalyptic type. Not someone you would consider as a survivor, not overly successful in relationships, lots of self doubt and fear, just not the person you have come to expect when looking at a main character. But many times more realistic I suspect. Just because he seems to feel and react much as the average person would. At one point flat out wonders why thing just can't continue to get worse instead of one last gasp collapse. A frightening but I suspect all together normal.

Soft Apocalypse is a slow but steady decline but at the same time a morphing of the norm as well. Society doesn't just become a more violent version of itself, even though there is that aspect, but it is almost like there is this ultra slow quest for some sort of equilibrium.

McIntosh has put some effort into fleshing this mileu out. The type of breakdown societies are there but real early on and as things continue the paradigm shifts.

Soft Apocalypse is an edgy construct that I honestly think will be popular.

No comments: