Journal of the Flood

David Ely, Author Dutton Books $20 (234p) ISBN 978-1-55611-272-0
In Ely's sardonic futuristic fable, attack-robots serve as watchdogs of a Big Brother government, humans are produced in test tubes and families are a thing of the past. Most people don't have sex as we know it, they ``experience'' in contraptions called stimulators. Those who breed in the old-fashioned way are ``the excluded,'' condemned to jungle colonies and reservations. Baltimore engineer William Fowke is branded a troublemaker in this highly impersonal, ultraconformist society when he reports a seepage in the Wall, a massive dike which holds back the Atlantic, allowing millions of Americans to inhabit an artifically extended Eastern seaboard. For his whistleblowing, Fowke is imprisoned in an ``excluded'' colony, then shipped off to Kansas. His escape to Washington, D.C., and his interaction with Julia, the icy arresting officer who may love him, occupy the second half of a story that we know is headed for cataclysm. In this parable of chilling power and piercing beauty, Ely ( Seconds ) balances the impersonaliity of his many robotlike or emotionally stunted characters with dramatic scenes and black comedy. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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