Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Starry skies (Swedish: Stjärnklart)

“An apocalyptic novel and thriller in the same vein as Justin Cronin’s The Passage and The Twelve Technology has no immune system …”

Author and weblogger Lars Wilderäng writes and manages Cornucopia?, a blog that is rated as Sweden’s largest independent blog on economics, politics, financial issues, energy crisis and environmental issues. He has previously worked in the IT service industry but has for some years now but is now devoting his time to his family, day trading, writing and farming on his own small (?) holding. Newsigned Books has a interview with Lars Wilderäng here. A less frequently updated blog in English is found here and the Swedish version is here

His two first books  Midvinter mörker (Midwinter darkness) was his debut novel in the Military techno triller genre which was well received in Sweden and followed up by Midsommar gryning (Midsummer’s dawn). As I enjoyed these two books I was eager (well very eager) to pick up an pre-release copy of his latest book, “Starry skies”.

Starry skies is a thrilling start to his new realistic apocalypse trilogy (no vampires, “just” humans).  It departs from the techno thriller genre to enter a more civilian world that might reach a larger audience. Wilderäng has described similar events and prepping in his blog and understands that these kind of events can happen, and understands how todays high-tech society is very fragile when humanities support from our current technology is disrupted, such as sewage pumps… 

Wilderäng puts his characters through events that penetrates deep into the heart of our modern societies naïve trust of technology.  As a reader the horror of Wilderäng's tale lies not alone the described events, but with the  reactions of the individuals and groups that are described and how it changes the way they interact with one another. This is of course based on modern crowd-control strategies and psychology.

This is definitely the best Swedish book I have read in this genre, and is easily matches best sellers in the genre such as “One Second After” and “Lucifer's Hammer”, which means that I highly recommend Starry skies, and that it will be a harrowing experience that will make you see to your house, since it is a a trilogy of course it ends with a star hanger…

I end here with a quote describing the way population will shrink until it can be supported by the available technology: 
The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race. The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation. They are the precursors in the great army of destruction, and often finish the dreadful work themselves. But should they fail in this war of extermination, sickly seasons, epidemics, pestilence, and plague advance in terrific array, and sweep off their thousands and tens of thousands. Should success be still incomplete, gigantic inevitable famine stalks in the rear, and with one mighty blow levels the population with the food of the world.

—Malthus T.R. 1798. An essay on the principle of population. Chapter VII, p61.”

Now of course the year long wait starts for the next instalment, but remember: 

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