Paul J. McAuley
Austral Cover



This near-future novel, set in a post-apocalyptic Antarctica transformed by global warming, has some extremely interesting worldbuilding. I would have liked to have learned more about the ecopoets.

Unfortunately, the main character's story is a tale of an unending series of bad choices which lead her further and further into tragedy. Perhaps I'm being unfair, in the sense that people born lives of poverty, ignorance, and bigotry may not be able to recognize how poor choices lead to dire consequences, or learn from them -- but the incessant string of acts of stupidity, without any apparent learning ever resulting from them, got really tiresome. I'm really not a fan of "fatal stupidity" as a story plot.

And the narrative tactic used by the author that culminates in an attempt to tug at the heartstrings of the reader was, in my opinion, just cheap and sleazy.

There are the bones of a really good book here. I wish that was the book I'd gotten to read.