‘m not sure if you’ll relate to this, dear reader.
You see, I am a cyclist. This means that I see another world you’ve never seen. All those overpasses you’ve parked under for a traffic light, or gone over? I’ve sat there on my bike and looked at them, removed from the scale of a car, seeing this massive structures for what they are outside of the cage of conventional putt-putt transport. When you sit under an overpass on the saddle of a bike and look at the forest of concrete supports, each as thick as a young redwood, bolstering a skyfull of concrete three stories overhead, then you see the world as it is, not the blur-world from your car. Even something as utilitarian as a parking garage – when you look at one of these things, they are larger than Persepolis. Had they been build 2000 years ago they’d have been one of the wonders of the ancient world.
But we don’t see them. It is background to us.
Which is why Eternity Road was such a great book. Author Jack McDevitt seems to have looked at this world, and thought about how it would appear centuries after a civilization-ending plague, when the growing civilizations of this new time refer to us as the roadmakers. Our ruins are still around but all knowledge and purpose has been lost. And in this strange world an explorer returns, having journied far to the north for find Haven, a place rumored to hold many of the books of his ancient world. But he returns bitter, his entire company lost, a loner. Only after his death does a young girl (whose brother was also on the expedition) is bequeathed Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, a book long believed lost.
Does Haven exist? She means to find out.
So it’s a fascinating “There and back again” journey, the party of companions interesting, the world strange and brooding, the mission disheartening. And Mr. McDevitt isn’t afraid to kill off characters (and nobody comes back from Moria in this one). It’s got high adventure, sad partings, everything you could hope for. And in reading this you’ll view the world that you take for granted a little differently. Perhaps, even, a little more fragile.
This one I found in a used bookstore. A quick peek showed it to be available on Amazon (a hardcover for a penny, a steal). It’s got my recommendation. For you people with a taste of realistic post-apocalypse, crack open this cover.