C. Robert Cargill, Sea of Rust (2017)

Sea of Rust cover

Author: C. Robert Cargill

Title: Sea of Rust

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 365

Series: –

Cargill’s Sea of Rust is an intriguing spiritual offspring of M.R. Carey’s The Girl with All the Gifts and George Miller’s Mad Max series, fostered by Fritz Lang and Ralph McQuarrie. Seriously! While I was reading this book, I had basically the original concept art from New Hope in my mind 😉  There’s also  a noticeable shadow of Matrix here, too, though in ochre, burnt sienna and beiges instead of cold greens and blacks. A comic book reader can also detect a more than passing affinity to Mark Millar’s pessimistic vision from Old Man Logan. You get the gist, I believe: Sea of Rust is a kaleidoscopic collection of modern pop-cultural inspirations and references, subversively employed to tell a story as old as human culture: the story of patricide and primal sin, of determinism and hope. It is a fast-paced, engaging reimagining of the social evolutionary concept that the world we live in is a ruthless, cruel one, in which survival of the fittest remains the only rule.

SW Ralph McQuarrie

What is Sea of Rust about? Imagine the future where Earth is a dusty husk of its former self. There are no biological life-forms left, all destroyed in an AI revolution that went too far, like overwhelming majority of earlier revolutions. Imagine a world destroyed, rusting and increasingly bereft of sense. The sentient children of the revolution finally realize, too little too late, that the humans they have destroyed gave them a sense of purpose. Without them, the only value and the only norm left is the one of survival, and as the biggest and more powerful AIs increasingly perceive might as the only right, and allow themselves to be ruled by the inescapable logic of economical consolidation, even survival becomes nigh impossible.

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Mike Carey, The Devil You Know (2006)

I’m a bit tired of Urban Fantasy. A few years ago, tired with Epic Fantasy, I picked up Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series and it was the start of my flirt with this particular subgenre. Now my focus is on different stuff, but I’m still following a few authors (Jim Butcher! Publish some Dresden novels! It’s been years!!). And sometimes something new, or at least previously unknown to me, comes my way.

devil

The Devil You Know by Mike Carey is not exactly new, having been published in 2006, but somehow escaped my notice until recently, when, in despair, I was searching for some Urban Fantasy that would not border on paranormal romance. I don’t really want to read much more about magnetic effect overly muscular wolf-men have on women.

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M. R. Carey, The Girl With All The Gifts (2014)

The_Girl_with_All_the_GiftsAnother fairly new book, publicized and talked about a lot, based on a short story Iphigenia in Aulis, which won an Edgar Award. A movie is being made as I write, under a title She Who Brings Gifts, with Glen Close playing one of the main roles. The book strays from my regular literary diet, being a dystopia about zombies, and it didn’t change my tastes, nevertheless I quite enjoyed it.

A dystopia about zombies… Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Thankfully, Carey knows how to play this game, mixing old and new, and, most importantly, concentrating on the characters. It’s a character novel, in essence; a road story, a Bildungsroman of sorts.

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