We've always imagined the world coming to an end in spectacular, explosive fashion. But what if - instead - humanity is just destined to slowly crumble?
For Jasper and his nomadic tribe, their former life as middle-class Americans seems like a distant memory. Their world took a turn for the worse - and then never got better. Resources are running out, jobs keep getting scarcer, and the fabric of society is slowly disintegrating . . . .
But in the midst of this all, Jasper's just a guy trying to make ends meet, find a nice girl who won't screw him around, and keep his group safe on the violent streets.
Soft Apocalypse follows the tribe's struggle to find a place for themselves and their children in the dangerous new place their world has become.
In this moving debut from Hugo-winner McIntosh, the prosperous world of 2023 ends not with a bang but with a crackle, the sound of genetically engineered bamboo growing overnight and destroying roads and buildings. Na ve college graduate Jasper struggles to trade charged batteries for food as his "tribe" wanders the Georgia countryside, dodging local cops and designer diseases. Settling in Savannah, they try to find some stability in a crumbling city beset by anarchist gangs and the "scientist-rebels" who release tailored organisms to hasten societal collapse. In the end, each member of the tribe must decide what to give up in order to survive. The novel, expanded from a short story, shows some unevenness in tone, but McIntosh strongly delineates his characters and makes Jasper's struggles very affecting. Though it may be soft, this apocalypse has plenty of sharp edges.