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“Plague Year ”

Written on: 09/06/2007 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

Plague Year

Jeff Carlson

Ace, Jul 2007, $7.99

ISBN 9780441015146

They were created with good intention as a cancer cure. They proved quite successful at curing cancer although the host died in the saving since the horde of nanotech machines use carbon based living species to procreate. Like a blitzkrieg that is faster than any disease ever spread, humans or animal die unless they attain altitudes above 10,000 feet as the nanotech machines fail to function; 5,000,000,000 humans are dead in the first wave.

High in the Sierra Mountains of California, Cam and a few people have established a small camp. However to survive they make dangerous excursions to where the nanotech machines operate seeking carbon life forms. When those dangerous expeditions fail, they turn cannibal. Over time the survivors make contact with another group and soon learn that the orbiting International Space Station might contain mankind's last salvation against the plague of the nanotech machines.

The fascination with PLAGUE YEAR is how fast humanity becomes beasts with survival all that matters; as Cam and others recognize that they are monsters just like the nanotech machine. Murder and cannibalism is a way of life as civilization is yesterday's news. Interestingly most of the conflict thus is mano vs. mano as much of the exciting story line focuses on the survival efforts of Cam and his mates willing to kill (and eat) one another as needed. Thus no one is truly a hero, but no reader will care as Jeff Carlson provides a terrific cautionary tale of science paving the road to ruin.

Harriet Klausner

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