On my short list of authors that I must read, if for no other reason than it is writing at its finest, is Barbara Kingsolver. Her novels are the kind that has me set the book down on occasion to catch my breath and sigh. Her newest offering, Flight Behavior, surprised me with a subtle apocalyptic theme, based on a potential calamity from environmental change. A twofer, my favorite author and my favorite genre.
In a recent book review of Flight Behavior, by Kevin Nance of the Tribune Newspapers, he has mostly praise for the book, but had some interesting observations about dystopian genres.
“The impending apocalypse is an almost comfortable cliché of sci-fi and fantasy fiction. The possibility of a dire future for the planet is so routinely entertained — and usually averted, through sometimes not — that it’s almost ho-hum. The unthinkable has been endlessly thought and re-thought, albeit in generally farfetched contexts, to a point at which we can barely bestir ourselves to care.”
Mr. Nance continues in his favorable review by giving Kingsolver high marks for not being … cliché. I sort of feel today’s overabundance of zombie and vampire themes have become cliché, but dystopia? Please.