Monday, January 06, 2020

Five novels about finding hope at the end of the world

Mike Chen is a lifelong writer, from crafting fan fiction as a child to somehow getting paid for words as an adult. He has contributed to major geek websites (The Mary Sue, The Portalist, Tor) and covered the NHL for mainstream media outlets. A member of SFWA and Codex Writers, Chen lives in the Bay Area, where he can be found playing video games and watching Doctor Who with his wife, daughter, and rescue animals.

Chen is the author of the novels Here and Now and Then and A Beginning At The End.

[My Book, The Movie: Here and Now and Then.]

At Chen tagged five books about finding hope at the end of the world, including:
A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker

If [Emily St. John Mandel’s] Station Eleven dove into how live theatre could carry on the human spirit, Sarah Pinsker’s book gives that a punk-rock boot to the face. Rather than a single decimating event for humanity, Pinker portrays a world on edge with death coming from multiple sources: powerful viruses, climate change, terrorist attacks, and more. These threats take a mirror image of our own world and, to quote Spinal Tap, turn it up to 11. The public response to this is an authoritarian rule, where public gatherings are illegal and homogenized entertainment rules the day.

This repression leads to two very different points of view: dynamic performer Luce and corporate employee Rosemary. As their stories begin to intertwine (along with some cool worldbuilding for transforming the live music experience), this dangerous world details the risks of suppressing the artistic spirit. As Luce begins to perform illegal concerts, Pinsker deftly illustrates a key point: art, hope, and rebellion often overlap, making each an indomitable part of the human spirit.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 69 Test: A Song for a New Day.

--Marshal Zeringue