The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi tells what happens in the southwestern USA when a long time drought hits. The Colorado River which supplies almost all of the water to the entire area doesn’t have as much water in it and the southwestern states have fallen apart trying to fight for their rights to whatever water remains. States have closed borders, lawyers fight over whose water rights are older, and water knives threaten and take back water by force.
In the midst of this chaos are beautiful a arcologies, developments that harness the power of biodiversity and recycling and create and clean their own water from their refuse. And outside these arcologies are civilizations at the brink of collapse. Wide spread fear and intimidation are how the other half lives, desperate for when their water is turned on or filtering their own pee when its not. The drought has brought dust storms reminiscent of the Great Dust Bowl.
Lucy, a journalist reporting on the end of Phoenix, and Angel, a Las Vegas water knife, come together to try to piece together their own puzzles which keep overlapping. Everyone has to make choices for their own survival and its hard to judge anyone since hope is not something available.
This was a great read!
Read March 2016
Karen Thompson Walker’s The Age of Miracles tells the story of the earth’s rotation slowing and what happens to as the days grow longer. Julia is 11 year old girl who plays soccer and has sleep overs with her best friend when she learns that the world is slowing. Although no one could predict what this slowing would do, it almost immediately impacts everyone in Julia’s life.
As the world around her tries to adjust to the progressively longer days, Julia is doing her best to grow up. When the governments around the world decide to remain on a 24 hour day clock to keep businesses going, the population separates by those on clock time and those on real time. As the days and nights grow the environment around Julia starts to die off. Birds. Grass. Eucalyptus Trees.
In the middle of these changes, Julia deals with the lose of friendships and first loves while watching the world and the life she knows falling apart. She gets her first bra while having to deal with her parents relationship falling apart. Life still happens even as the world changes.
Walker gives us a narrator that is in “…the age of miracles, the time when kids shot up three inches over the summer, when breasts bloomed from nothing, when voices dipped and dove.” And to this narrator the world is undergoing a negative kind of change.
This was a great story and and quick read. Walker brought me into her dystopia and made me appreciate our current world. I appreciate the sunshine and strawberries a little more today.
Read June 2013