Book 2 of the Inter States series – “Emergent Disorder”

Book 2 of the Inter States series - "Emergent Disorder"

I’m not sure if there are any readers here who are fans of speculative fiction dealing with peak-oil, but if there are I can heartily recommend the Inter States series by Ralph Meima. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book Fossil Nation and I am waiting in anticipation for the release of the second book in the series. Here is an idea of what to expect…

A historic migration begins, triggered by Hurricane Rhiannon but accelerated by deeper currents.  With winter approaching, hundreds of thousands take to the road in search of safety, potable water, reliable sources of food, and shelter. Their numbers overwhelm infrastructure and governments, roiling politics and changing the demographic character of regions forever.

With the 2040 election only days away, events whip from one surprise to another.  A dispute flares around disaster relief offered by China and the European Union.  Supporters and opponents dig in along partisan lines.  The President is held in contempt, and arrested by a council of national unity.  Despite an initial spirit of cooperation, multiple competing claims to federal executive authority arise, precipitating a constitutional crisis.  Oligarchs see threats and opportunities in the emerging disorder, and act to protect their interests.

Carried along in the migration are the Trudeau-Kendeil and Daniels families.  They have banded together for a harrowing journey of many days from Washington, D.C. to the homes of charitable relatives in New England, in search of the security a family needs in these lean times.  Their route takes them through communities coping in diverse ways with economic hardship, an unstable climate, and the swelling numbers of migrants.

A colleague from Jack Trudeau’s past appears with an explanation of the unraveling around them.  Grounded in energy science, his letter addresses the federal government’s dysfunction in the face of the crisis, and the new, more assertive role that state governments are quickly assuming.  Prepare for abrupt, discontinuous change, he warns.

Challenges multiply as the families travel north.  Election Day arrives while they are still on the road. Voter turnout is low among populations side-tracked by the storm and migration.  Then, tragedy strikes in the families’ midst, overwhelming plans and driving home a harsh lesson about options and consequences in a world riven by competing realities and relentless resource scarcity.

One Reply to “Book 2 of the Inter States series – “Emergent Disorder””

  1. If only there was more time to read fiction. Which there will be after The Collapse! Only, we’ll be reading by the light of burning wood scavenged from wrecked buildings, as we wait for the ditch water to boil over that flame, hoping it will be sterilised enough that we don’t get cholera…

    The last fiction I read was a dystopian novel titled “The Country of Ice Cream Star.” It was like a mash-up of “Lord of the Flies” and “The Road” (that gory post-apocalypse book by Cormac McCarthy, which I’d never read, coz cannibalism squicks me out.) The plot involves a 15-year-old black girl and her ragamuffin tribe, who are living in the ruins of what used to be western Massachusetts circa 2090, after an unexplained plague (some sort of contagious sarcoma) has wiped out most of America’s population. Blacks are less susceptible to it, but they still die by their early 20s. It’s a time-compressed existence where children raise children and try to reproduce to keep their society going, even though they know they won’t live long enough to see their spawn grow up. Then Russians, who have found a cure, come along to invade and enslave the remaining Americans, and Washington, D.C. gets blown up, the girl is helicoptered aboard a Russian, setting up a sequel and maybe a movie deal for the author… The fascinating part, aside from all the Doomer porn elements, is that it’s written in a patois language, based on English but with its own cryptic slang. I read it to see the writing craftsmanship as much as anything.

    I’d rather spend my non university-related reading time learning from factual books. I’m going through “The World Without Us” at the moment. As a Peak Oiler/Apocalypticarian you probably know that one, Marcu. I aim to devour more Tim Flannery, too. I’ve checked out books of his from the library — “The Future Eaters” is great, and has a lot to say about Australia’s evolution and environment — but I can’t devote enough time to finish them before they’re due back. I’ll have to break down and buy the damn things. Flannery’s so good, though, that it’s hard to find his stuff at used bookshops. Not that I need to buy used, but fark! — why pay full price for something I’ll probably only read once in my life?

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