Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America (Google eBook)

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Macmillan, Jun 23, 2009 - Fiction - 416 pages
4 Reviews

From Robert Charles Wilson, the Hugo Award-winning author of Spin, comes Julian Comstock, an exuberant adventure in a post-climate-change America.


In the reign of President Deklan Comstock, a reborn United States is struggling back to prosperity. Over a century after the Efflorescence of Oil, after the Fall of the Cities, after the False Tribulation, after the days of the Pious Presidents, the sixty stars and thirteen stripes wave from the plains of Athabaska to the national capital in New York. In Colorado Springs, the Dominion sees to the nation's spiritual needs. In Labrador, the Army wages war on the Dutch. America, unified, is rising once again.


Then out of Labrador come tales of the war hero "Captain Commongold." The masses follow his adventures in the popular press. The Army adores him. The President is...troubled. Especially when the dashing Captain turns out to be his nephew Julian, son of the President's late brother Bryce--a popular general who challenged the President's power, and paid the ultimate price.

As Julian ascends to the pinnacle of power, his admiration for the works of the Secular Ancients sets him at fatal odds with the Dominion. Treachery and intrigue will dog him as he closes in on the accomplishment of his lifelong ambition: to make a film about the life of Charles Darwin.

  

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Great book! This is the book that has made RCW one of my favorite authors!

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Narrator Adam Hazzard is a friend of the protagonist of the title and tells the Hugo-nominated story in first person. A post-apocalyptic US has reached bottom and is poorly run by JCís uncle. The timeframe is 2172-2175. The army is trying to turn things around. The fundamentalist Dominion has to approve religion and education. This is a steampunk adventure based on a short story. There are five acts, each for a holiday, opened by quotes from the likes of Hume or Whittier or Melville, containing four to eleven chapters which in turn have four to nine scenes. The world is thorough and self-consistent, and the prose is entertaining and well-crafted. 

Selected pages

Contents

PROLOGUE
1
A PINEBARK EDEN or THE CARIBOUHORN TRAIN
3
THE INVENTION OF CAPTAIN COMMONGOLD
117
EVENTS PATRIOTIC AND OTHERWISE
311
A SEASON IN THE LAND GOD GAVE TO CAIN
415
JULIAN CONQUEROR including THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF THE GREAT NATURALIST CHARLES DARWIN
513
EPILOGUE
683
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
691
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

ROBERT CHARLES WILSON was born in California and lives in Toronto. His novel Spin won the Hugo Award in 2006. He won the Philip K. Dick Award for his debut novel A Hidden Place; Canada's Aurora Award for Darwinia; and the John W. Campbell Award for The Chronoliths.

Bibliographic information