Flood and Ark by Stephen Baxter

I seem to have read a lot of apocalyptic literature recently. After finishing The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (highly recommended), I continued on the same theme with Stephen Baxter’s sci-fi novels Flood and Ark.

Being a big fan of Arthur C. Clarke, I became acquainted with Baxter’s writing though his collaboration with Clarke in Light of Other Days and the Time Odyssey trilogy. This was the first time I’ve read any of his own work though.

Flood describes mankind’s struggle to survive in an imaginary near future, where the oceans of the world start rising at an exponential pace. When available land starts to run out, things get interesting as people and nations develop different coping strategies. Or in some cases, don’t. A good read, although obviously at times just a bit depressing.

As you probably guessed, Ark is the sequel to Flood. A story about a desperate effort to send the remnants of humankind into space, it’s not as coherent as Flood. If you can look past the US manage to scrape together a mission to Jupiter and invent a warp drive in the middle of a civil war in a world with vastly depleted resources, it’s a fun and mostly believable read. Then again, necessity is the mother of all inventions, so why not.


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