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The Aviator Paperback – September 12, 2012
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"A Criminal Magic" by Lee Kelly
THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly's new magical realism, crossover novel and casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties. Learn more
About the Author
More About the Author
Flying around a world riven by climate change and economic collapse in a hi-tech airship, Lemmy encounters the strange remnants of civilisation - people searching for the singularity, a rocking bishop in his flying cathedral, the last climate sceptics, deep green terrorists, billionaire libertarians in their bubble, and much, much more. Not to mention the goats, the girlfriend with bots in her head and the elixir of life (which is cheese).
Gareth's recent book, Hot Topic - Global Warming & The Future of New Zealand, was published by AUT Media in 2007, and shortlisted for the Royal Society of NZ's inaugural science book prize. The Truffle Book (Limestone Hills Publishing 2005) won the Special Jury Award at the 2007 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Beijing, and he was the keynote speaker at the 2007 Oregon Truffle Festival. He publishes the influential Hot Topic blog (http://hot-topic.co.nz/), covering climate change science and politics in New Zealand.
Top Customer Reviews
Advocates of the "Heartland Institute" and libertarians of the "Atlas Shrugged" variety will probably not appreciate Renowden's portrayal of their ultimate ends, but he has at least as much fun with radical environmentalists. His sympathies seem more clearly to lie with the Singularitarians - but even there Renowden introduces conflicts and concerns (particularly associated with the behavior of the airship's Artificial Intelligence) which suggest a deep thoughtfulness about what really matters in life and in our future. The novel ends with a number of loose ends (where is the airship's owner? What is going on in Europe?) that anticipate a sequel - I'm eagerly looking forward to it!
The truth is, a future Earth with continued climate change could look a lot of different ways, but the planet ala The Aviator is a reasonable approximation of a switched over climate, brought to us by someone who knows the science well. I'm less sure about the interaction between Artificial and Regular "Intelligence" depicted here, but it does produce an interesting interaction between fictional tropes. Climate change is real and unfettered could easily look like it does in this book. Artificial Intelligence is, in my mind, still imagined, and the use of the concept in Renowden's book is highly speculative. So, we have an interesting mix of higher and lower probabilities mixed together with what is otherwise a well imagined and very well told story regardless of the science fiction itself.
I have truly enjoyed it.
Gareth Renowden's solution is simple. Consciously or not he has simply extrapolated the ideological or issue-advocacy obvious in today's internet blogs and forums into the post-catastrophe society. Today's digital "silos" become tomorrows tribal groups. And, yes, they are just a inward-looking, suspicious and hostile to others as today's silo communities are. Except they have real weapons. These tribal groups, or ideological ghettos, give scope for some nice irony and humour in the book.
Renowden's post-catastrophe societies include the inevitable fundamentalist religious communities. But also communities based on artificial intelligence, technophobia, libertarianism, cynical "green" politics and so on. And, yes, there is even a climate change denial community - actively denying the world-wide catastrophe had anything to do with human-caused climate change. In fact still warning about an imminent ice-age (naturally caused of course)!
So you can imagine the scope for irony and humour there. Especially as Gareth Renowden is an author the climate change denial community love to hate. And they don't hold back on expressing that hate.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very enjoyable sci-fi story, but all too plausible given changes in the Earth's climate. I like the characters and wanted them to succeed.Published 8 months ago by GeorgeWiman
This was an engaging, intelligent book addressing a wide range of issues connected with the future of technology and our planet's rapidly-changing climate system -- and with... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mark C.
A well written, engrossing story based in the near future which elegantly integrates potential future technologies into the sort of world we may be left with as the result of... Read morePublished on May 12, 2013 by Michael Edmonds
I agree with just about all the reviews here. This is the sort of book that ought to be topping the best seller lists!
Can't wait for the sequel. Read more
The backdrop for this story is the not-to-distant future where climate disruption has collapsed the global economy and forced various groups to splinter off while competing for the... Read morePublished on December 20, 2012 by Scott A. Mandia
This book is tour through what our world might be like if we don't change our ways. It's more realistic than most people will realize. Read morePublished on December 5, 2012 by William Ockham
I really enjoyed reading this book. A mix of sci fi and fact. It does certainly paint a possible future for our planet and I applaud Gareth Renowden for creating a good read around... Read morePublished on November 21, 2012 by johnnyg
The Aviator is a very enjoyable read. Set slightly in the future, it's takes you on a ride through the world after some serious climate change damage has been done. Read morePublished on November 3, 2012 by RitaS