Thursday, May 30, 2013

Book Review-Age of Miracles

Science Fiction has been an interest of mine since high school.  I read the classics, Bradbury, Asimov, Heinlein.  Classic science fiction takes place in the future, and usually involves a lot of technology.  The Age of Miracles by Karen Walker Thompson is a different sort of science fiction.  It does take place in the future, but only by a few years.  The fictional science in this book is that the planet has slowed down.  No longer is a day 24 hours long.  The sun shines for a few minutes longer each day, and the night is a few minutes longer as well.  After a while, the days and nights are hours longer, then days longer.  This also affects gravity, things fall faster and harder.  Some people are affected as well, with sleeplessness, vertigo, and other symptoms.  The ozone layer weakens, so people have to be careful when out in the sun.
Thompson explores how these changes affect people, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.  Some people panic and take this to be the sign of the Second Coming.   Some people try to keep to a rhythm of being up during daylight and sleeping during dark times.  Most people go along with the Government's idea to keep to a 24 hour clock.  Sometimes they sleep during daylight, and go to school or work during dark times.  Scientists have to figure out how to keep the food supply going-plants have not evolved to live with 48 hours of sunlight, then 48 hours of darkness.
The narrator is the grown up Julia, who was 11 at the time of the slowing, so we get the 11 year old's perspective through the filter of the older Julia. 
I enjoyed the book very much.  It touches on how people cope with disasters, how society can turn its back on those that are different, how friendships evolve during times of trouble.  Give it a try!

The Age of Miracles
The Age of Miracles
By Walker, Karen Thompson
2012-06 - Random House
9780812992977 Check Our Catalog BookPage Notable Title

A haunting and unforgettable coming-of-age debut for fans of speculative fiction set against the backdrop of a world where the earth has slowed, and the days grow longer. Julia is coping with the fissures in her parents' marriage, the hopeful anguish of first love, and the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who is convinced of a government conspiracy. …More

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