Supervolcano:Eruption Book Review
With my predilection for apocalyptic fiction Supervolcano: Eruption by Harry Turtledove helped me to scratch an itch. I’ve read a few of Mr. Turtledove’s works as his usual genre is alternate history (he wrote a very good series on the what-if of The South winning the Civil War), with Supervolcano:Eruption he hits one out of the park (Yellowstone in this case). His characters are believable, the scenario is plausible, and the actually apocalypse is just a back drop to a good story.
The story focuses on Colin Fergueson and his family. Mr. Fergueson is a lieutenant in a suburban L.A. police department. He is newly divorced and trying to get his life back in order. His children and his ex-wife figure prominently into his life and the story as it unfolds. Colin meets a younger woman who happens to be a geologist on a trip to Yellowstone, Kelly provides a love interest for the story and many of the technical details about a Yellowstone eruption come through her.
The potential for an eruption at Yellowstone isn’t a question of if but when. The supervolcano tends to erupt on average every 600,000 or so years. The last eruption was 640,000 years ago, do the math. I’m not saying to run for the hills merely pointing out that this makes for a pretty realistic scenario. In my mind it beats aliens, asteroids, or the Mayan calender (not Zombies though, they are my dirty little favorite) as far as basing a story around it. Plus, the supervolcano doesn’t just blow it’s top and suddenly the human race is eating each other. The eruption seems to happen exceedingly slow (but in a good way) with ash problems and travel problems. It makes for a believable scenario.
Another thing I liked is the actual calamity takes a back seat to the story. It doesn’t devolve into an endless bunch of lists like many prepper novels can turn into. The characters still have to get up and go to work (for the most part) and Lt. Fergueson spends a lot of time worrying about his kids. It ends up with a fairly good police story wrapped around an unfolding end of the world scenario. I liked reading what a good author can do with an apocalyptic scenario.
All in all Supervolcano:Eruption made for a good read and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. I put it up there with the doomer classics like Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. In fact to put my money where my mouth is I’ll give away a copy to a lucky subscriber. I’ll send out a subscriber only e-mail next week with info on how to enter.
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