Monday, August 31, 2009

The greatest novel ever written about climate chaos and global warming ever: FINITUDE by Hamish MacDonald


The book begins like this, with a first chapter that sets the scene for the rest of the 288 pages. I have this book. I believe this book is about the future. Hamish MacDonald, the author, is a Canadian writer who lives in Scotland. More than any other recent book, with the exception of Cormac McCarthy's "THE ROAD,", this picaresque novel about the distant future in an un-named country suffering the impacts of climate chaos and mass migrations northward is a wake-up call that should make us all pause consider what actions we need to take in our lives NOW to try to stop the locomotive of global warming BEFORE it is too late.

Literature, and art, sometimes has the power to do this.

The book is for sale in a printed edition on Mr MacDonald's wesbite. I am also willing to send a free PDF of the entire novel by email to anyone who wishes to read it and report back to me on how you liked it, yes or no. Pro or con. I feel that Hamish MacDonald is the new Douglas Adams of the UK, and while this book is not a comic Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, it is a powerful and equally well-written and well--plotted novel that calls out for an audience. A big audience.

Sadly, the big commercial publishers won't touch this book. It is once again a failure of courage on their part. In fact, this book WOULD sell, and WILL sell, once it is properly published and distributed through the normal marketing channels. This book is not only a good read, a great read, it is an important read; and it will make you think about climate change and global warming like no other book before this one.

Below is the beginning of the very first chapter, the very first pages of the book. If, when you finish reading this, you want to read the entire book, free of charge, email me at bikolang@gmail.com [I am not Mr MacDonald's agent, I am his friend. I believe this book is vital reading for the 21st century.]

CHAPTER ONE

VC
Day [VC here means Victory over Climate Day in an Un-named Country. Although of course it does seem alot like Britain.]

The world was supposed to come to an end, but it didn't.

Jeremy Chutter looked up at the banners stretching over the main street that read

"VC Day." The new Prime Minister had declared victory over the climate.

So, after thirty years, The Effort was over, a success. The
world
was
saved.

Jeremy was disappointed.

He wandered through the crowd, bumped this way and that by the cheering,

hugging,
and
kissing
parade­goers.
He 
swept
the
ticker­tapes 
from
his 
shoulders 
and
they

fell
to
the 
ground,
biodegrading
instantly
in
the 
rainwater.
A
drunk
woman toppled
into

him,
 looked
him
 square 
in
 the 
face,
 and
gave
him
 a
 slippery
 kiss 
with
 her
large,
 red­
painted
lips.
Startled
and
offended,
he
shoved
her
back
into
the
throng.
She 
wailed
to
a

large
man
in
her
group
of
friends,
but
Jeremy
slipped
away
unseen.

This
would
be
a
great
day
for
pick­pocketing,
he 
thought.
Not
that
he’d 
ever
tried
it,

or
needed
the 
money.
He 
had
more
than
enough
money.
Cash
wasn’t
very
useful,
anyway.

Without
the
carbon
credits
to
go
with
it,
money
couldn’t
get
you
much
anymore.

Jeremy
 followed
the 
flow
 of
 the
crowd
toward
the
harbour,
 thinking
of
 salmon.

He’d 
seen
pictures
of
 salmon
in
one 
of
 his 
father’s 
books.
They
must
have
 been
beautiful,

he 
imagined.
But
being
one,
 judging
from
his 
current
situation,
couldn’t
have
been
much

fun.


The 
storefront
 displays
 and
 billboards 
were 
decked
 out
 for
 VC
 Day
 sales,
 but

Jeremy
 couldn’t
see
them.
 He
adjusted
 the 
small
pin
on
his
lapel.
 It
 looked
 like 
a
key

from
an
old
typewriter
with
a
small
silver
logo
on
it.
His
subscription
to
Tinfoil
Hat
was

precious
to
him,
worth
all
it
cost:
it
exempted
him
from
all
targeted
messaging.
His 
world

was 
a
happy
 blank,
 his
thoughts
his 
own,
 a
protected
habitat.
 In
exchange,
 some
of
 his

subscription
fee
went
to
the
advertisers,
but
he
didn’t
care
about
that.

He
didn’t
care
about
much,
really.

An
enormous 
throng
amassed
at
the
waterfront.
Jeremy
figured
it
must
be
half
the

city
or
more.
After
all
they’d
been
through,
the
hardships 
of
 rationing,
the 
perpetual
rain,

the
violent
storms 
and
disruptive 
floods,
 he 
supposed
they
had
a
right
to
celebrate.
 No

one 
knew
what
the 
hell
the 
planet
was 
up
to,
but
most
of
the
human
beings
on
it
were 
a

lot
better
off
than
they
were
before
modern
life
became
so
damned
efficient.

By
 luck,
 he
found
himself
 jostled
into
a
spot
with
 the
best
view
 of
 the 
platform

erected
 for
 the
 occasion.
 A
 band
 played,
 and
 each
 musician
 used
 their
 breaks 
to
 tip

rainwater
out
of
 his 
or
her
instrument.
Amid
a
procession
of
 umbrella­carrying
lackeys,

Prime 
Minister
Hardwick
himself
 stepped
into
view.
 He 
raised
his
hands 
and
the 
crowd

cheered
madly.

Jeremy
 couldn’t
 see
 the
 Prime 
Minister’s 
close­up
 displayed
 on
 the 
two
 screens 

flanking
the 
platform,
nor
could
he 
hear
his
amplified
voice.
The 
odd
word
echoed
out,

since 
Hardwick
 was 
once 
an
 actor
 and
could
 still
 project
his 
voice
powerfully.
 Jeremy

figured
 he
already
 knew
 the 
gist
 of
 the 
message.
 He 
didn’t
 mind
 the
 Prime 
Minister’s

theatrics:
If
politics
was
a
show,
he
figured,
it
might
as
well
be
a
good
one.

Hardwick
 was 
 the
 man
 who
 promised
 to
 deliver
 the
 people 
from
 decades 
 of

struggle,
 lack,
 and
 worry.
 Where
 his 
 predecessor,
 Redpoll,
 had
 continued
 with
 the

tradition
of
 emergency
measures,
 caution,
 and
consultation,
Hardwick
offered
a
welcome

release
with
his 
message 
of
manifest
destiny.
People 
had
the 
right
to
live 
well,
he
said.
The

time
for
timorous 
hiding
in
storm
shelters 
was 
over.
A
new
 age
of
prosperity
had
arrived;

it
was 
time
to
throw
off
 the
hair
shirt,
 embrace 
the
new
day,
and
party.
When
he
spoke

these 
actual
words 
on
the 
night
of
his 
electoral
triumph
shaking
his
middle­aged
hips 
as

he 
did
it,
 the 
nation
cringed,
 but
he’d 
captured
 the
prevailing
 mood,
 and
his 
popularity

continued
to
soar.

Drawing
his 
speech
to
a
close,
the
Prime 
Minister
turned
and
gestured
at
the
vast

ship
pulling
up
to
a
stop
in
the 
harbour
behind
him.
 The 
cruise
liner’s 
hull
glistened,
 an

effect
 of
 the
 slippery
 polymers
that
reduced
 its
drag
 in
 the
water.
 This,
 along
 with
 a

1
revolutionary
engine
that
scrubbed
its 
exhaust
clean
with
sea­water,
made
the 
Carpathia
Diem
the
first
 luxury
 ship
 to
 pass 
the 
International
 Coalition
 Government’s 
rigourous

Efficiency
and
Impact
tests.
Today’s 
arrival,
 at
the
end
of
 the 
ship’s 
maiden
voyage 
across

the
new
polar
ocean,
was
to
be
the
proof
of
Hardwick’s
Bold
New
Day
campaign.

Jeremy
 had
a
personal
 stake 
in
the 
voyage,
 since 
he’d 
sold
 insurance
to
several
 of

the
travellers.
The
large 
global
firm
that
provided
all
his
policies
had
also
insured
the
ship

against
Acts
of
 God
 and
 “Acts
of
 Man”—
 a
 new
 distinction
 developed
 since
 “natural”

disasters 
started
overstepping
the
known
bounds
of
nature 
on
a
regular
basis 
thanks 
to
the

side­effects
of
humanity’s
progress.

After
 a
 prolonged
 pause 
 during
 which
 the
 gangplank
 remained
 closed,
 naval

officials 
huddled
around
a
console 
on
the 
wharf.
The
Prime
Minister
smiled
at
the
crowd,

then
gestured
for
the 
waterlogged
band
to
play
something.
The 
gangplank
finally
lowered

to
the 
dock
like 
a
sleeper’s 
arm.
Navy
men
and
a
broadcast
crew
scaled
the 
long
ramp
to

find
out
what
the
delay
was,
and
why
the
ship
was
running
on
automatic
systems.

Gasps 
and
 shouts
broke
out
 around
 Jeremy.
 Terraists?,
 he
wondered.
 There 
had

been
 talk
 about
a
possible 
attack
 on
 the 
gathering.


"What? What?" he asked a woman beside him. She pointed at one of the large screens.
 He removed the pin from his lapel and
saw what she saw:
the
passengers and crew
of
the
ship, all slumped over as if they'd all fallen asleep in an instant, all dead.

....

WITH A BEGINNING LIKE THAT, DON'T YOU WANT TO READ THE ENTIRE BOOK NOW? I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN THREE MONTHS AGO WHEN I FIRST DIPPED MY MIND INTO HAMISH MACDONALD'S "FINITUDE".

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm familiar with Hamish MacDonald's work. I agree that it's of high quality.

I do have a problem with your offering to send PDF copies of the entire novel to anyone who asks. If people want to read Mr. MacDonald's book, they can buy it from him for a reasonable price at this address:
http://www.hamishmacdonald.com/shop/shop.htm

The best way to show appreciation for a self-published author such as Hamish MacDonald is to pay for his work.

-PB

dan said...

Dear Anonymous, above.

YOU are quite right, and yes, best would be for folks to buy the printed handbound book. I agree. But for now, for this news release word of mouth thing I am doing here, i just wanted to let people know that they could also get the book free from me or even from his own website where they can download it. But yes, best to support the artist by buying his book. I agree. It is worth every penny. It is a fantastic book. I assume you read it too. CAN YOU POST a review of it here in the comments, just to get things rolling? thanks PB

DB

Anonymous said...

If you like, rather than sending people the PDF file by e-mail (since it's kinda large), you can also send them this link to download it:


Finitude

http://www.hamishmacdonald.com/novels/Finitude_eBook.pdf