My book has been reviewed by several well-placed
reviewers as well as others who read and wanted to comment on the book.
Professionals who have
commented on the book are:
CW of the Crash_Watcher blog who
took time out from his normal reporting to devote one of his posts to
on January 24, 2012. He contrasted my thesis of the Great Collapse with
that of Jim Kunstler in his novels.
On March 7, 2012,
Francisco Book Review
published a sponsored review that concludes with the
statement, "With a solid timeline and a keen eye toward
cause-and-effect, Penny paints an intriguing picture, not of What Might
Have Been, but more of What Probably Will Be."
Frank Kaminski of
Mud City Press
published his review
of the book on June 29, 2012, in conjunction with Energy Bulletin.
He puts my book into great company with his statement, "This story
follows a long and heady line of speculative writings about the future
of human evolution. An early entrant in this tradition was H.G. Wells’
classic 'The Man of the Year Million' ..."
Other who have read and commented on the book include
those below. When the review
comes from Amazon, this is noted. Others were private emails.
ZoAnn Lapinsky posted December 29,
2011, in Amazon, "Sam Penny is a visionary and a thinker -- he has given
us a look at a likely scenario of our future, and it doesn't look like
fun. He considers all aspects of our lives, from mother nature, to
economics, to technology, and paints a picture of human existence when
all these factors start to spiral away into decay. And his version of
the future does not at all seem unlikely. A very interesting read,
J. Dykstra posted May 12, 2012, in Amazon, "This book is
something of a post-apocalyptic story about life after a collapse of
civilization due to energy depletion and global warming. The author is
something of a geology and disaster aficionado who has written a couple
of interesting novels about a fictional earthquake on the New Madrid
fault. He is retired and travels around the country in an RV trying to
live a sustainable lifestyle.
This book is a story within a
story. The story is about a group of future archaeologists from 1000
years in the future. They are supposedly from a new species of humans
who have developed sustainable living in the area around Hudson Bay but
do not have advanced technology. They are on a trip to the Oregon coast
to investigate the history of a great collapse that happened in the 20th
century. Some of them believe that the ancestor who founded their tribe
came from the area. Near the beginning of the book, a student discovers
a case of computer disks containing the memoirs of the guy they are
looking for. Each chapter starts with a brief description of the
expedition's events for the day followed by a lengthy listening of the
memoirs. The memoirs follow the life of a guy named Sam Hardy who was
born in 2015 and lived more than 85 years. Along the way, he witnessed
the collapse of modern civilization due to a scarcity of energy and the
effects of global warming.
Of course any book like this is going
to be speculative. This particular take on a collapse of society is
basically a laundry list of all the author's favorite topics as well as
all of the usual disaster suspects except for an eruption of the
Yellowstone Caldera. In addition to shortages of oil and the effects of
climate change, the US suffers major earthquakes in New Madrid and the
Cascadia fault, a killer hurricane that floods New York, a solar flare
that knocks out all satellite communications, a couple of pandemics and
a number of significant floods. Are these possible? Maybe. Many things
can happen over the course of 100 years. The thing that strikes me a bit
off is the timing of major trends. It seems to me that the breakdown of
society was a bit more fast and comprehensive than one would expect
while at the same time, the evolution of a new species and the loss of
technology and memory was bit more than extensive than one would expect
in just 1000 years. In any case, the point of the book isn't necessarily
to give an accurate prediction of what will happen, but rather a vivid
picture of the kinds of things that could happen as well as some
suggestions of what we should try to do in order to avoid
If you like disaster stories or post-apocalyptic
fiction, you will probably like this book. I found it to be a real page
turner. With a book like this you have to set aside the desire to
nitpick details and enjoy the story for what it is."
emailed me on December 29, 2012, and said, "Sam Congrats!
As I told you before . . . as I
read through it, I found myself getting more and more agitated but
driven to find the final outcome. I began to wonder why I was reacting
the way I was and that resulted in my becoming rather introspective. I
think that I have seen enough progress to doubt if we would annihilate
our civilization to the extent you express in the book. Having
said that, I now find myself listening to the news with a very different
ear! Thanks you for the opportunity for a good read.
Noel emailed me on January 22, 2012, and said, "Friday night I neglected to tell you how much I appreciated your book. You raise so many interesting and important questions and speculations. People should read it. It gets you thinking of just what comes next - not that I expect to find out. When was the bottle neck?
Any mutations to carry us through?"