May 26th, 2010


Potlatch 20 Book of Honor: Earth Abides

Potlatch 20 has chosen its Book of Honor: Earth Abides by George R. Stewart.

It was published in 1949; like Orwell's 1984 (which came out the same year), it's an SF classic from outside the self-defined SF microcosm. Consequently it has literary values and styles not often found in genre SF of that period. It's in print (Del Rey) and available in audiobook (CD and download), and is easily findable used and in libraries. Although it's generally considered a classic, many SF readers haven't read it, or haven't read it recently. However, it's influenced more recent books, like The Wild Shore by Kim Stanley Robinson, The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy, and The Stand by Stephen King. It's set mostly in the Bay Area, with lots of recognizable local color, and its concern with ecology and its plot, involving a global disease outbreak and the ensuing collapse, and attempted rebuilding, of civilization seems more relevant now than ever.

We hope you enjoy reading and discussing it.