- Paperback: 130 pages
- Publisher: Haymarket Books (December 6, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1608467244
- ISBN-13: 978-1608467242
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Splinterlands Paperback – December 6, 2016
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Publisher Weekly, Starred Review
Feffer’s book is a wild ride through a bleak future, casting a harsh, thought-provoking light on that future’s modern-day roots.”
"Splinterlands is a short and powerful dystopian novel, framed as an all-too-credible account of what might happen in our lifetimes."
Climate and Capitalism
"John Feffer is our 21st-century Jack London, and, like the latter's Iron Heel, Splinterlands is a vivid, suspenseful warning about the ultimate incompatibility between capitalism and human survival."
"Splinterlands paints a startling portrait of a post-apocalyptic tomorrow that is fast becoming a reality today. Fast-paced, yet strangely haunting, Feffer's latest novel looks back from 2050 on the disintegration of world order told through the story of one broken family-- and offers a disturbing vision of what might await us all if we don't act quickly."
Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickle and Dimed and Living with a Wild God, and founder of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project
A chilling portrayal of where the politics of division could take us. Now I only hope he writes the sequel to tell us how to avoid it!”
Naomi Oreskes, co-author of The Collapse of Western Civilization
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The footnotes are written in another voice, and while they are intended to add the "story" to the geopolitical analysis, they are sometimes a little too coy. I read 'em all faithfully, however.
The interesting thing about Splinterlands is its anticipation that technology will continue to evolve -- the plot depends heavily on a readily available Virtual Reality thingy -- despite the disintegration of society into cabals, most of them no longer religiously based but seeking raw power. And although it was written before our recent election, the book employs a Hurricane Donald as a final catalyst for dissolution.
My first reading was quick. I wanted to know what happened. No surprises, but satisfying. Now I need to read it again to study more closely the geopolitical observations. Most of those that attached myself to my brain on the first pass-through seemed to ring pretty true. Like unpleasant bells.
Have now passed the book on to my daughter. I actually bought two from the TomGram website, thinking I would give the second as a gift. But it's going to take some consideration to choose a recipient.
I recommend this book unless you are looking for a "son broke his leg and I gave him half an aspirin because SHTF" kind of treatment of the potential future evolution of our world.
To the the novels I've come to expect of this genre(Hunger Games, World War Z, etc). Instead, what I read was a book that made me think, not just entertain; a book that truly frightened me because, unlike other books in this genre, we're already beginning to live this future. Splinterlands is both thoughtful and entertaining. I would hope that readers are sufficiently informed by Splinterlands that they are compelled to take action our future depends on it
I first encountered John Feffer speaking about North Korea and was impressed by his ability to look at a situation without ideological attachment. When I saw he had written fiction I decided to give it a try, and am glad I did.
And the book is short! Nothing wrong with long books but here's one I could read quickly before something else got me off track.
I bought a second copy and sent it to a friend who reports he loved it, too.
It is not clear at the outset why, but some twenty-five years later, aged and in ill-health, West is bedridden and decides to contact his three estranged children and wife, all scattered across the globe. He does this with a virtual headset and avatar, Virtual tours plus “face to face” meetings in venues as diverse as Brussels, China, and Africa. West’s children have all taken separate paths, adjusting to the collapse in their own ways, but all have misgivings with their father. So we basically have three separate dialectics which doesn’t make for fully fleshed out drama. The splintering of the family is directly analogous to the splintering of the geopolitical landscape. Like the Syfy series, “Incorporated,” there are green and red zones.
This is less of a problem in the concluding two chapters where human interaction is more compelling. West contacts his estranged wife of 25 years, Rachel, also once a scholar researcher, who turned her back on academia to join a commune in Vermont, quite successfully as it turns out. West is receiving some experimental treatment for a pandemic staph infection. Rachel is ill, too and Julian wants them to be together to share the treatment. The transmission is cut off before she can answer.
In the final chapter we learn why West is receiving the treatment and from whom as well as other ulterior motives for contacting his family. It’s worth a look and makes for a quick read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was disappointed in the book. It started out rather interesting, but then became tedious as the story went on. The ending was rather flat. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Jo
Fast and fascinating (and somewhere prescient and terrifying) read - highly recommend!Published 7 days ago
A quick read. Thought provoking. A little scary, too, because parts of it are already happening or can be easily envisioned as well on their way given the current political... Read morePublished 9 days ago by onewitchywoman
The writing in this book is lazy. The protagonist, many years in the future, is a sick man who goes in the form of an avatar to visit his family, which has scattered all over the... Read morePublished 10 days ago by William Taylor
The things he wrote about are actually happening, but maybe we still have time to change things and have a better future.Published 12 days ago by Kamila Cass
A frightening look at the future, from the perspective of perhaps me decades from now. Hurricane Donald is a milestone event beginning societies collapse. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Sergio
Splinterlands by John Feffer is a dystopian novel set in 2050. Julian West is writing a report updating events of the world since his book Splinterlands was published in 2020... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Lori Carlson
A dystopian short novel that feels way too close to what I think is our fast approaching reality. A quick read that should shock anyone out of political/environmental sommulence.Published 20 days ago by Hoagiedog