Tor, 2019 (2019)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
orld disaster is imminent but it's unclear how bad it will really be in Greg Egan's
. A huge black hole, Taraxippus, is about to enter the solar system. Tides are expected to rise and drown coastlines.
att and his friends plan to ride it out on their mobile aquaculture rig, the Mandjet, a modern Noah's Ark. It's basic but self-sustaining with respect to fresh water, food, and power. They attempt to persuade as many friends and family as they can to join them, but few do. Matt's sister Selena and parents don't share his fear of an apocalypse.
found the story rather hard to get into, but was glad I persisted. The disaster ends up being severe, affecting climate (much hotter summers and colder winters) as well as coastlines. Crops fail, forests die, fisheries collapse, and refugees flee, by land and by sea.
he Mandjet ends up leading a flotilla of refugee boats, of various nationalities north to Antarctica, with conflicts and attempts to rescue family members en route. It's a well told tale, though rather depressing in that this kind of scenario might well be what's ahead for humanity.
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