Soft Apocalypse

  • by Will McIntosh
  • Narrated by Erik Davies
  • 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

What happens when resources become scarce and society starts to crumble? As the competition for resources pulls America's previously stable society apart, the "New Normal" is a Soft Apocalypse. This is how our world ends; with a whimper instead of a bang.
"It's so hard to believe," Colin said as we crossed the steaming, empty parking lot toward the bowling alley. "What?" "That we're poor. That we're homeless." "I know." "I mean, we have college degrees," he said. "I know," I said.
There was an ancient miniature golf course choked in weeds alongside the bowling alley. The astroturf had completely rotted away in places. The windmill had one spoke. We looked it over for a minute (both of us had once been avid mini golfers), then continued toward the door. "By the way," I added. "We're not homeless, we're nomads. Keep your labels straight."
New social structures and tribal connections spring up across America, as the previous social structures begin to dissolve. Soft Apocalypse follows the journey across the Southeast of a tribe of formerly middle-class Americans as they struggle to find a place for themselves and their children in a new, dangerous world that still carries the ghostly echoes of their previous lives.

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What the Critics Say

"In this moving debut from Hugo-winner McIntosh, the prosperous world of 2023 ends not with a bang but with a crackle, the sound of genetically engineered bamboo growing overnight and destroying roads and buildings.... McIntosh strongly delineates his characters and makes Jasper's struggles very affecting. Though it may be soft, this apocalypse has plenty of sharp edges." (Publishers Weekly)
"Bottom line: If Soft Apocalypse isn't nominated for a Hugo or Nebula Award, I will eat the entire book page by page." (Paul Goat Allen)
"[McIntosh] has written a first novel that's compelling, credible, and relentless, whose best and most disturbing moments will stay with the reader for a long time." (Locus)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

What happens when the money runs out

This story is sad, violent, realistic, sad, and sad. In a future where society collapses not because of zombies, or a terrible disease, or a war, but because of economic ruin -- there's not much to be cheery about. But I found "Soft Apocalypse" to be an intriguing take on the sci-fi dystopia. People do things to survive that they are not proud of. Yet they try to cling to the sense of self they had before the collapse, and they strive to find a "normal" life... Somewhere.
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- Pam

Not what I expected

While it is a story of a "Soft Apocalypse", it is more about the characters and less about what has/is happening. It seems focused on Jasper getting dates and how unfair the world is. (The haves vs the have nots) I would have enjoyed it more if there was more about how they got to where they are and more of the "color" of what is happening in the larger world. If you enjoy books like "One Second After" or "Lucifer's Hammer" this is not for you. If you enjoyed "Life as we knew it" you will probably like this.
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- Edain

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-31-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios