Wednesday, 1 February 2012

One to Watch Wednesday

This week for One to Watch we've chosen a recent addition to authonomy by a longstanding member:

'Saltus' by Colin Smith.

Saltus joins a tradition of narratives that conjecture that the end of humanity will come from an end to fertility, or conception. Khristos 'Kit' Zachariades is the last born man. Now, at the age of 64, he lives the life of a lonely bachelor in a dwindling world, accompanied only by his pet parrot and robot Asimov - I use the term 'robot' warily, because I think that Asimov is very well concieved; he feels like a character, and he provides some valuable character interaction in the opening chapter. 


'Saltus' does start a little slowly, but what we like about it is that there's a real sense of character that emerges in the opening chapters. Not just Kit's personality, but that of his unassuming father, his head strong mother, and the society he was born into, one on the brink of destruction that also cleverly reflects our own in its worship of happenstance-celebrity. It may not be a high-action science-fiction, but this is clearly an intelligent and interesting read.

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Here's Colin's pitch

Kit Zachariades is the last-born man: He is 64
As all humankind faces extinction, new challenges force Kit to question his life and his humanity

Declaration:

The United Nations established the Repository of Human Experience to provide a post-extinction record of human accomplishment and knowledge for the benefit of the next intelligent species to evolve on or visit this planet. It is a vast undertaking and the work is ongoing.

The RHE has recognised and recorded the lives of many worthy individuals. Its criteria for selection are prominence, achievement in a given field, and uniqueness of experience. Millions more, whose lives might have passed unrecorded, are chosen by lottery.

I, Khristos (Kit) Zachariades, come into the first, the third, and perhaps the last of these categories and now, in my sixty-fourth year, in the small hours of the morning I begin my story.

01:17:43 European Standard Time
14-05-2081
Common Era

5 comments:

Ted Cross said...

Do you mean 'warily' rather than 'wearily'?

Anonymous said...

You beat me to it, Ted. :-P

Marcy S. said...

Uh, I believe that book was already made into a movie: it was called Children of Men.

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