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My Mistress, Humanity Paperback – April 13, 2017
From Publishers Weekly
It's 2015 and the human beings who've survived the disastrous climatic changes of recent years face utter destruction in My Mistress, Humanity, by Chuck Rosenthal (Elena of the Stars, etc.). In a plot that parallels that of Frankenstein and provides much philosophical food for thought, the Faustian hero must track down a terrible monster, a dragon, if there's to be any hope for humanity.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Rosenthal has stepped out on a limb with this novel . . . I am willing to go out on it with him. -- Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times, December 27, 2002
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The premise is that in the year 2015 the earth suffers some really serious climate changes that push humanity to the brink of extinction. So far it sounds like just another apocalyptic novel, right? But don't expect _On The Beach_ or _Earth Abides_, or even _Lucifer's Hammer_.
You see, the central character is a scientist named Werther Fausten, and that pileup of Goethe allusions isn't accidental. Oh, and there's also a dragon.
It's a more or less scientifically plausible dragon, to be sure, but that's not really the point. The dragon is actually, we learn, some sort of embodiment of the collective unconscious of humankind. (If it physically exists at all -- a point author Chuck Rosenthal carefully leaves unresolved. The story is told in the first person -- well, various first persons -- through letters, journal excerpts, and such.)
Anyway, the dragon in some sense represents, and perhaps nonmetaphorically just _is_, humanity's "shadow side." And besides being rather unpleasant to be around in general, she also has a good deal to say on the subject of science and monotheism (which she declares to be similar in all sorts of bad ways that are more than coincidentally related to the meterological catastrophe). Obviously we're in a different and altogether more Jungian world from that of most apocalyptic fiction.
Can humanity be saved? If so, how? Readers who know their Jung will have a pretty good idea where this is all headed, but it's well written and well crafted. Readers who (like me) don't have any particular problems with science and monotheism will still appreciate the artistry of the novel and find its warnings cogent and timely. And at any rate, there's no reason to assume the dragon's opinions are necessarily those of the author. (Hee hee. For how many books would _that_ disclaimer be appropriate?)
Okay, that's about all I can tell you without spoiling it for you. Again, it's not my usual cup of tea, but based on the quality of this novel I'd read something else by Rosenthal.