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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Limestone Hills Publishing (September 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0987669737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0987669735
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,011,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gareth Renowden is an award-winning writer, photographer and truffle grower based in the Waipara Valley, New Zealand. Gareth's most recent book, The Aviator, the first in a new series set in The Burning World, was published in 2012. His book on climate change, 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.

More About the Author

Gareth Renowden is a writer, photographer and truffle grower based in the Waipara Valley, New Zealand. His latest book is The Aviator, a story set in a world being battered by climate change and economic collapse - the first in a series dealing with the Burning World. Here's the blurb:

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.

Customer Reviews

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So there is plenty of scope there for an entertaining story.
Dr Ken Perrott
Lemmy's co-pilot is a very sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) called Jenny that is wired into his bio-system.
Scott A. Mandia
I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes science fiction or is interested in climate change.
Emma

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Arthur P. Smith on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"The Aviator" puts us in an imaginatively envisioned near-future, with the world divided into small almost-isolated enclaves of wildly differing philosophies, moralities, technology levels and capabilities. The ostensible cause of the collapse of normal civilization is chaos associated with global warming, but the details of that collapse are for the most part missing here, aside from one soberly-drawn rescue mission to a fire-storm-ravaged Australia. How the world and the various characters portrayed got into the state they are in in this book is largely a mystery, but given those premises Renowden does a splendid job of weaving together an exciting story of exploration and discovery. His protagonist with his airship visits almost every continent from his New Zealand base, finding beacons of hope and enlightenment and at the same time doing battle with radical fringes on all sides, from anti-technologists to frontiersmen to high-tech televangelists to Islamic fundamentalists. At times the novel reminded me of some of the ambience and free-wheeling twists and turns of Neal Stephenson's novels - "Snow Crash" and "Anathem" particularly.

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!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Steel on September 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Sci-fi is a departure from my normal reading matter, but I was hooked on The Aviator from chapter one. Rarely have I come across a book that manages to combine so many things: adventure, romance, characterisation and a critical message - ignore climate change at our peril. OK, so perhaps it's a little far-fetched in places (only time will tell), but I can't wait for the next instalment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Johnmacmot on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found The Aviator an enjoyable read and look forward to the next volume. As in all good SF, the underlying issues are serious, but Renowden's writing is fluent and his humour and satirical eye when applied are sharply entertaining. The book certainly spans the globe, and familiar New Zealand settings shifted into a much-changed future state were intriguing. I liked how the relationships between Artificial Intelligences and humans were developed. It's an entertaining piece of fiction, but leads the reader to consider the kind of future we are setting up for ourselves, and in that respect, it contains real heft. Good price too!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr Ken Perrott on August 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This science fiction novel is set in a post-catastrophe world - in the not too distant future. Hardly an unusual scenario but I found its approach to the question of post-catastrophe social organisation intriguing. How would society reorganise after social collapse brought on by a world-engulfing crisis? In this case one of the possible outcomes of climate change? The usual scenario is some sort of tribalism, and usually a warring tribalism. But would it be that simple? After all, humanity would still have reservoirs of knowledge. Surely that would make simple tribalism unlikely?

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 ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gregory T. Laden on October 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Aviator by Gareth Renowden explores a post-apocalypse world where the apocalypse is not nuclear war or a large object hitting the earth, or even an outbreak of zombi-ism, but rather, climate change. The story itself is an excellent read and even qualifies as a page turner. But there is another element that readers don't need to now, but would enjoy knowing: The author has the science on climate change right.

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.
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