Soft Apocalypse

Will McIntosh, Author
Will McIntosh, Night Shade (, $14.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-59780-276-5
Reviewed on: 02/07/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
In this moving debut from Hugo-winner McIntosh, the prosperous world of 2023 ends not with a bang but with a crackle, the sound of genetically engineered bamboo growing overnight and destroying roads and buildings. Naïve college graduate Jasper struggles to trade charged batteries for food as his "tribe" wanders the Georgia countryside, dodging local cops and designer diseases. Settling in Savannah, they try to find some stability in a crumbling city beset by anarchist gangs and the "scientist-rebels" who release tailored organisms to hasten societal collapse. In the end, each member of the tribe must decide what to give up in order to survive. The novel, expanded from a short story, shows some unevenness in tone, but McIntosh strongly delineates his characters and makes Jasper's struggles very affecting. Though it may be soft, this apocalypse has plenty of sharp edges. (Apr.)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!