Slow Apocalypse

Slow Apocalypse

John Varley / Aug 22, 2019

Slow Apocalypse Despite wars with Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the United States dependence on foreign oil has kept the nation tied to the Middle East A scientist has developed a cure for America s addictio

  • Title: Slow Apocalypse
  • Author: John Varley
  • ISBN: 9780441017577
  • Page: 352
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Despite wars with Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as 9 11, the United States dependence on foreign oil has kept the nation tied to the Middle East A scientist has developed a cure for America s addiction a slow acting virus that feeds on petroleum, turning it solid But he didn t consider that his contagion of an Iraqi oil field could spread to infect the fuel supply of thDespite wars with Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as 9 11, the United States dependence on foreign oil has kept the nation tied to the Middle East A scientist has developed a cure for America s addiction a slow acting virus that feeds on petroleum, turning it solid But he didn t consider that his contagion of an Iraqi oil field could spread to infect the fuel supply of the entire world In Los Angeles, screenwriter Dave Marshall heard this scenario from a retired US marine and government insider who acted as a consultant on Dave s last film It sounded as implausible as many of his scripts, but the reality is much frightening than anything he could have envisioned.An ordinary guy armed with extraordinary information, Dave hopes his survivor s instinct will kick in so he can protect his wife and daughter from the coming apocalypse that will alter the future of Earth and humanity

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    About "John Varley"

      • John Varley

        Full name John Herbert Varley.John Varley was born in Austin, Texas He grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, moved to Port Arthur in 1957, and graduated from Nederland High School He went to Michigan State University He has written several novels and numerous short stories.He has received both the Hugo and Nebula awards.


    1. I met John Varley once, quite by chance, years ago. He and his partner Lee Emmett were holding a rummage sale, and I just happened to see their ad in the Portland Oregonian in time to make it down the hill.It was a rather sad occasion—they had just lost the lease on their apartment, a gigantic, ramshackle abode that took up the whole upper floor of a two-story building with a beautiful view across the Willamette River to downtown. Beneath them was an old Italian restaurant called the Monte Car [...]

    2. Slow Apocalypse (2012) is a Near Future novel of Disaster, exploring the global consequences of a Genetically Engineered virus developed by a traumatized Scientist in the wake of 9/11 with the intention of ending US dependence on Middle East oil that feeds on and solidifies petroleum.

    3. A terrifying apocalyptic story!My TakeWow. Just, wow. It starts out like an action suspense with black ops swarming, but soon disintegrates into a terrifying nightmare. Varley caught hold of my imagination so well that I actually was outside in the "real" world running errands---and I realized I was wary about being out in the open. I was worrying that someone might leap out and attack!I mean, duh, it was just a story. And one that affected my thinking in real life. The effect only lasted a few [...]

    4. Mini review: A man gets some warning that apocalyptic events are about to occur. He hurriedly goes about trying to set himself up with canned goods and the like. The events unfold slowly. Wife doesn’t believe him. Daughter does. Earthquakes, fire, destruction, oil gone from the world. Solid book. Interesting ideas. I do not necessarily dislike any of the characters. Interesting enough book, if slow. I’d recommend it.Longer review with some rambling about Varley: Varley’s one of those autho [...]

    5. I've read a number of books in the curious genre of science fiction that attempts to describe a vision of the future after some apocalyptic event such as nuclear war, peak oil, viral plague, or electromagnetic pulse. (Earth Abides, World Made by Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Alas Babylon, Down to a Sunless Sea, One Second After).These books follow a basic formula where there is 1) a horrific event that destroys or seriously damages large parts of the globe, 2) survivors divided up into good guys an [...]

    6. Great Book. 4.5/5 easily bumped to a 5 despite a few nitpicsd really, they are minor. Overall, the story is basically similiar to some others I've readThe Shell Game (Lack of Oil being an issue) & Super Volcano (Apocolpytical happenings happening in real time) but it handles the topics better than both. This story is about a biological agent that attacks petrolium in the group and causes a lot of issueswhich lead to mored morewhich lead to the de-evolution of society as we know it. The book [...]

    7. I've loved John Varley's books for the past 30 years or so, and it's good to see he's still producing highly readable, involving stories. But it is strange to see him moving so decidedly from science fiction into something that's about halfway between a Michael Crichton thriller and an agitprop doc. SLOW APOCALYPSE offers a brief explanation of a chemical-warfare-induced meltdown of the world's oil, and then the rest of the novel largely just tracks how society would fall apart after that, parti [...]

    8. For a book to merit five stars, it has to be one that I finish in a few days. If I putter along with it for two or three weeks chances are it was decent, but didn't quite pull me in and along. SLOW APOCALYPSE had me engaged and turning pages with abandon. It's not a flashy YA dystopian-world's-end fashion statement. It's more than that.It also doesn't foist on the reader multiple perspectives that many disaster books favor. You know the ones where the characters are geographically, socially and [...]

    9. Note: Spoilers!I visit John Varley's website so I knew going in that this was not a science fiction book. I also knew better than to start reading in the late evening, but I did it anyway because it's a new John Varley book! I finally finished the book after the sun came up the next morning, and I have no regrets.The scenario seems entirely plausible to me, and utterly frightening. I've seen complaints about excessive detail on LA's geography, but that didn't bother me at all even though I have [...]

    10. Read for the Apocalypse Now! Reading Challenge and the Second Best Reading Challenge.Method of the world's destruction: an engineered bacteria is released into Iraqi oil fields by a lovelorn scientist as vengeance, which mutates to become an airborne pathogen that solidifies all liquid gas resources on earth into useless lumps.Nominated for the John W. Campbell Award 2013.When you've read as many apocalyptica stories as I have, I suppose you become a little bit critical in ways that the average [...]

    11. I've just 2 words for Varley's effort to join the ecofiction/apocalypse club: derivative and contrived. It this really the same author that wrote the Gaean Trilogy?I've been reading such works for decades and a few stand out. The earliest I recall is When Worlds Collide from 1934 to the massive The Stand. Works by such authors as Margaret Atwood and the young Turk Paolo Bacigalupi and even Stephen Baxter come to mind. I am familiar with the subgenre in books and films (The Road Warrior is more w [...]

    12. I've have seldom read a more promising book that fell apart worse in the last 20 pages. Varley is a favorite author. The premise is intriguing. The characters engaging. The plot unpredictable.The book is worth reading, but I was disappointed, having invested that much time and energy, in how it wilted at the end.(view spoiler)[And then the resolution. 1) They would have taken the food from the Outlaws lair. Everybody who "owned" it was dead. The Outlaws had stolen it in any case. There was no re [...]

    13. I'm a big Varley fan. The whole Titan-Wizard-Demon series was amazing and I must confess to having read them more than once. This book, however, was a disappointment. Way too much ink was ejaculated on the cartography associated with Los Angles and I just turned the pages when he spent time talking about the street layouts and neighborhood characteristics. It seemed egotistical and flatulent at the same time, I did not enjoy it, either way. The basic story is that a Hollywood writer has insight [...]

    14. Excellent apocalypse story. I'm a bit of a dystopian novel fan and think I've probably read most of them now. So I was pleased and surprised to come across this one, which doesn't (but should) appear on any top 100 Apocalyptic book lists. There were a number of things I enjoyed about this--the main character being a comedy writer in Hollywood was a nice twist. Can you think of anything more useless in a crisis than, well, the definition of useless, I suppose. But Dave gets forewarning of the cat [...]

    15. *spoilers* I had real problems with this book, some of which have been stated by other reviewers. It struck me as a first draft. I like Varley; he wrote one of the most memorable short stories I've read ("The Pusher").It just struck me as a half-baked novel - a lot of research, a bunch of notes, and some good ideas or scenes he wanted to cram in. But he never edited and shaped it into an interesting story that hung together with exposition & and fun facts weaved in seamlessly.*spoilers below [...]

    16. A screenwriter living in the Hollywood Hills gets advance warning of a coming disaster, a nanopathogen that renders oil supplies useless. Thinking itself a little mad, he nevertheless stocks up on supplies such as canned food and water. Pretty soon there are gas shortages, and it is clear that society is slowly unraveling while the government is hiding the truth. Things get worse and the small hill community where our hero lives buttons up, barricading the access road to prevent refugees from co [...]

    17. Although I liked John Varley’s Slow Apocalypse I found it a very slow read. Varley does a great job with describing what living conditions might be if something like this were to actually happen. He does a good job depicting the fear and violence that may overtake the world under such dire circumstances. My big complaint is that I had a hard time with the geography. I wish the book had included a map or two to help me, since most of the book is Dave or the family trying to get to one location [...]

    18. Dave Marshall and his family join up with friends to survive after all oil/gasoline is turned into sludge by a scientist's creation.Good thing: This book makes you realize just how dependent we are on oil and its derivatives.Bad thing: Way, way too many specifics on what road/boulevard/building they're at - it's like a travel book of Los Angeles and the area to the south. Far too many characters that have no real personality or impact on the story.This book is very slow paced (page 371: "At last [...]

    19. I gave up about half way through. The research element showed through a bit too plainly. The characters were not that strong. Not terrible, but not worth finishing.

    20. End-of-the-world books can be fun. Some of my favorites were Lucifer's Hammer and Footfall: big, door-stoppers with a world-ranging cast of characters, showing the world falling apart from a range of perspectives. Varley's book limits itself to one perspective, that of an out-of-work TV writer and his family and friends. This would be fine, if the characters were well-drawn, interesting people, but they're like cardboard cutouts, like something from a pre-YA book. The prose is dull as dirt, read [...]

    21. I bought this book by reflex: a new John Varley!In the tradition of /book/show/9, it's a biological agent that attacks a basic resource worldwide; this time not rice and wheat, but crude petroleum (underground or in tankers) with explosive consequences. It's told almost entirely in terms of Los Angeles. which is great if you know the place . . . and even better if you cordially dislike it. More specifically, the central characters are a family living up in the affluent canyons, with a swimming p [...]

    22. A TV show writer in Los Angeles interviewing a former marine becomes aware of a seemingly far-fetched story about a cover up. A vengeful scientist, whose girlfriend died in the 9/11 attacks, has created a microbe that destroys crude oil, and has unleashed it in Saudi Arabia. The following events are initially hidden from the public, but it soon becomes clear that the microbe is spreading and destroying the oil fields in neighbouring countries.The writer tells a group of friends about what he has [...]

    23. “Slow Apocalypse” is not what one would normally expect from Varley, but it’s a well thought-out, highly readable end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it tale nonetheless.

    24. Much more linear than classic Varley. A propulsive story story with a lot of details that I'd never think of. But most importantly with all Varley, I liked all the protagonists.

    25. Three and a half stars out of five. It's been a while since I last read read anything by Varley, the last time being the early to mid nineties and the Book was Steel Beach. I'm familiar mainly with his "Eight Worlds" stories which include Steel Beach, The Ophiuchi Hotline and The Barbie Murders. This is the first book I have read by him set outside of that universe. I want to quickly address what I didn't like about the book and get that out of the way, because there are some redeeming things to [...]

    26. I really liked this book. It was one of those books that intrudes into reality. When I was in the first hundred pages or so I would catch a bit of news on TV or hear someone taking about gas prices and I would begin to interject something about the new oil crisis from the plot of the book. And then I would realize in my mind that what I was about to say hadn't actually happened. (And I would always add, further back in my mind, "Yet.") It just felt so real. I've never cared much for the global w [...]

    27. I fell in love with Varley’s short fiction when I first read some of it back in the 1980s, and his The Ophiuchi Hotline remains a favourite sf novel. I even sort of like Millennium, the film adaptation of his short story ‘Air Raid’, which he then novelised as, er, Millennium. Since 1998′s The Golden Globe (which I really must reread one of these days), I’ve bought his books in hardback on publication – he’s no longer published in the UK, so I’ve had to order them from the US. Sad [...]

    28. This book, in the genre of books about fictional apocalyptic disasters, concerns what happens when the world suddenly, and literally, "runs out of oil." The driver of the plot is a terrorist plot gone awry: a GMO organism that feeds on oil, consuming it and causing it to expand. Result: destroyed and exploding oil fields. Initially the bug is (seemingly) targeted against Saudi Arabia, but it starts to migrate across the world. Soon, we're without oil, and on top of that the expanding and explodi [...]

    29. Varley is one of my goto authors. If he wrote, I have or will very likely read it. Generally he writes science fiction and has written some fantastic short stories (the collection Persistence of Vision is a favorite) and did some excellent unique and odd world building in the fantasy tinged hard sci fi trilogy Gaea. In this book he ventures into the dystopian/disaster thriller genre and while it is a good accessible read, its not my favorite Varley.To get the scifi (or future fiction) mcguffin o [...]

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