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Slow Apocalypseby John Varley
Synopses & Reviews
Despite wars with Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as 9/11, the United States’ dependence on foreign oil has kept the nation tied to the Middle East. A scientist has developed a cure for America’s addiction—a slow-acting virus that feeds on petroleum, turning it solid. But he didn’t consider that his contagion of an Iraqi oil field could spread to infect the fuel supply of the entire world…
In Los Angeles, screenwriter Dave Marshall heard this scenario from a retired US marine and government insider who acted as a consultant on Dave’s last film. It sounded as implausible as many of his scripts, but the reality is much more frightening than anything he could have envisioned.
An ordinary guy armed with extraordinary information, Dave hopes his survivor’s instinct will kick in so he can protect his wife and daughter from the coming apocalypse that will alter the future of Earth—and humanity…
"The title of this molasses-paced story of global devastation is unfortunately apropos. Dave Marshall has advance notice of the rapid and unstoppable destruction of the world's oil reserves — originally the plot of Marshall's next movie script, but now horribly true. In a device familiar to readers of Greg Bear's Blood Music and Neal Stephenson's Zodiac, oil-eating bacteria intended for use in a single region spread across the globe. Marshall and his friends survive thanks to being rich and well-prepared, while chaos, starvation, and death happen off-screen and in poorer neighborhoods, remote to Marshall and the reader. Varley optimistically posits a postdisaster 'Ecotopia' of happy communism and careful resource use that serves as a traumatizing but effective togetherness retreat for Marshall's family, saving his marriage and teaching his spoiled wife 'a new appreciation for real values.' Varley has thought hard about the myriad ways oil is vital to our entire infrastructure, but he never really gets excited about the consequences of its disappearance. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Seven suburban misfits are constructing a spaceship out of old tanker cars. The plan is to beat the Chinese to Mars--in under four days at three million miles an hour. It would be history in the making if it didn't sound so insane.
Twenty years ago, the Gaean Trilogy dazzled critics and readers. Now a new generation will discover that brilliant world--beginning with Titan.
About the Author
John Varley is the author of the Gaean Trilogy (Titan, Wizard, and Demon), Steel Beach, The Golden Globe, Red Thunder, Mammoth, Red Lightning, and Rolling Thunder. He has won both the Nebula and Hugo Awards for his work.
Table of Contents
The John Varley Reader Introdcuction
Picnic on Nearside
Overdrawn at the Memory Bank
In the Hall of the Martian Kings
Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance
The Barbie Murders
The Phantom of Kansas
The Persistence of Vision
Tango Charlie and Foxtrot Romeo
Just Another Perfect Day
In Fading Suns and Dying Moons
The Flying Dutchmen
What Our Readers Are Saying
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