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The full-frontal assault of climate change is being felt in the United States in the 2050s. Even though formidable damage mitigation plans are in place, the wrath of nature is felt throughout the country and displacing populace in the thousands. Nineteen-year-old Brooks Palazzo is intent on doing his best bit to make both Burbank, his hometown, and America that bit a better place. Inheriting a house from his grumpy and obnoxiously mannered grandfather (who also happens to be an incorrigible right wing “maga” advocate), Brooks, plans to convert his house into a refugee camp for displaced people streaming into Burbank. However, the friends of his “Gramp,” are determined to stop the influx of ‘parasitical’ refugees who may tarnish the image and reputation of Burbank.
Cory Doctorow’s “The Lost Cause,” a climate change Dystopia, even though thought provoking is also cliched. Doctorow takes potshots at the likes of Peter Thiel and the entrepreneur’s belief in the singularly novel and controversial concept of ‘sea-steading’, (there is a huge flotilla made up of remodeled carriers and fighter jets that offer accommodation and entertainment in abundance), when not deriding geriatrics in red caps spewing incendiary xenophobic stuff and having as their bible a violent, graphic and gory fiction titled Those Who Tread The Kine. Written by Theodore Sutton, the tome with a line-art drawing of the thrusting prow of a huge ship on its cover,
Praised by the likes of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Vinod Khosla, and Richard Ellison (amongst others), Those Who Tread The Kine, takes an unabashed potshot against all those who are opposed to space colonisation, gated community advocates, and seasteaders. Undeterred by such opposition, Brooks and his exuberant group of friends do everything possible to put paid to the hopes of AR-15 wielding old men and their generously paid lawyers of closing Burbank to the newcomers.
Fast, breezy, funny in places and hard hitting, The Lost Cause is more a manifesto of, for and by the Left than a simple work of fiction. In fact, the reader gets the impression that the views of Brooks Palazzo are nothing but the superimposed opinion of the author on his protagonist. And this is where the cliched bit comes into play. At times, the concentration is more on bashing the Right and asserting the rabid nature of its extreme opinions, than on the core premise of the book, which is combating the perils of global warming.
The Lost Cause – An ambivalent read.
The Lost Cause is published by the Tor Publishing Group and will be available on sale beginning 14 November 2024.
Thank You Net Galley for the Advance Review Copy!