Gone to be Snakes Now

by Neal Bell
Reviewed date: 2005 Sep 5
Rating: 1
158 pages
cover art

This disgrace of a book should never have been published. The gist of the plot is this: mankind pollutes the Earth's waters, and then either A) boil away the oceans in a nuclear war, or B) are attacked by aliens who forcibly evict mankind from Earth to a desert planet in order to take Earth's oceans for themselves. In any case, young Walter grows up in the community of Exxon, where each person has his death day written in a book, presumably so that the community doesn't have to be constantly reminded of death by the presence of old people. Walter helps a few people cheat their death day by escaping from Exxon, then Walter goes off in search of the technologists who supposedly have technology left over from old Earth.

As if that's not bad enough, the author also throws in a strange cave monster named the Borg, and a weird snake-woman named Madam Curie, aka Eva. The entire story is told in fractured, vaguely stream-of-consciousness style. Events are told out of chronological order, and some of the events are apparently just dreams, but that is not made clear enough. To top it off, the author amateurishly sprinkles the book with vulgar sexual references.

This book's only redeeming quality is its shortness: it is only 158 pages long.

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