STILLICIDE, Cynan Jones

stillicide, n     1. A continual dropping of water. 2. Law – A right or duty relating to the collection of water from or onto adjacent land.   From Latin stillicidium, from stilla drop + -cidium, from cadere to fall.

STILLICIDE, Cynan Jones:

David came up what the sea had left of the steps. The tidal defence panels to either side were bleached grey, had the compact, matted look he imagined the pelt of a seal must have. That they were moulded from re-formed blades of decommissioned wind turbines seemed right.

Fancy some Lyric Grim?  Cynan Jones has got you covered. Look at that. Flood defenses made out of old wind turbines.  It takes you a second to do the extra processing about this future condition, and then you get that shudder of “oh shit. That’s grim.

Although, you know, it’s not like you haven’t been prepared:

The boy’s hand opened and closed as if he reached for a glass of water but it was just the nerves dying through his body.

STILLICIDE is about water, Britain, and desperate attempts to engineer a way out of a future we caused out of a series of dumb short-term decisions.  In its structure, it may appeal to people who liked mine & Jason’s TREES graphic novels. It’s certainly a book I felt a degree of kinship with, despite the fact that Jones’ command of the language is several dozen levels higher than mine. There are also structural notes of John Brunner’s big eco books, STAND ON ZANZIBAR and THE SHEEP LOOK UP.  But STILLICIDE is very much its own thing, very much of its place: a collection of pen-portraits of the end times, all tangling together like weed in a rockpool. It’s a wonderful, sobering thing that still manages to shine with new light.

I suspect this is where I go out and buy all the rest of Cynan Jones’ books.

STILLICIDE, Cynan Jones (UK) (US)

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