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Worth Following

By Sebs, member

Sep 20, 2008: Let me start by saying that I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic fiction.

Unfortunately, so are a lot of other folks; the majority of post-ac fiction is pretty trashy, cliched by nature, and boring. Steal Tomorrow is a pleasant exception – mostly.

It’s definitely engaging, and avoids many of the pitfalls of post-ac web fiction. It’s not too prone to purple prose, and the (17 year old?) protagonist is not portrayed as much younger than her speech would indicate. Nobody is too old, since the premise is a disease that targets adults, leaving only children and teens.

Though the protagonist may not have seemed older than intended, other children definitely did. At one point in the story we encounter a group of teens who have taken over the library, and stand as guardians of knowledge. Here’s an excerpt:

"After being informed that they weren’t to speak above a whisper, they were led to the stacks where other people were browsing, each led by a girl in stern librarian garb carrying a flashlight aloft through the dark rooms."

Really? Really? Donna Sirianni calls it "A modernized Lord of the Flies," but I beg to differ. I’m not sure how many children on Golding’s little island were concerned with books, but even those concerned with civilization were a disorganized minority, easily overrun.

In fact, I’m a book lover, a voracious reader, and library enthusiast, and I’m pretty sure that keeping the library running as usual wouldn’t top my TO DO list. At best, folks might attempt to preserve knowledge, but I suspect that most would be too busy trying to survive, and few would trade anything of worth for books, much less to rent books.

The crew our protagonist joins up with, the Regents, are less idealistic. There are internal conflicts, gross chores to be done, and envy of those with special privileges. We observe their attempts to build a sustainable infrastructure in the face of a broken society full of violence and death. The adolescent characters dance nervously around relationships and turn bitter over small slights – in other words, people being people.

The blook uses a common blog format, but does it with class, and very appropriate illustrative photos.

Overall, a good read. It has its flaws, but worth following to see where it goes.


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