Plague Year by Jeff Carlson was originally published in August, 2007. My paperback copy is 292 pages. First, let's just make it clear right from the git go that this ain't any of that there fine litter-chure. I'm not going to bother rating it. I firmly believe that a reader should be allowed to read simply for the escapism, much like others might watch a bad movie... for the third time. I don't read romance novels, but give me some hard science fiction or a little action/adventure novel and I'm good to go. And you know what, Plague Year is ok for what it is. Overlook a few throw away gratuitous sex scenes, and don't look at the science backing all the actions the characters make too closely, and this is another good summer read. If you happened to misplace it at the beach or in the airport, it won't break your heart. You also aren't going to lament a little sand in the pages or drips from an ice cold beverage hitting the book. For those of you who decide to give it a go, look for future summer reading from Carlson. His Plague War is being released this July 29 and the third part of this trilogy, Mind Plague, is expected in the summer of 2009. These are released right to paperback for your summer reading pleasure.
In Plague Year, created nanotechs, nano-machines, have killed off most of the world's population. Only those who have managed to get to and live at 10,000 feet have survived since the nanotechs can not survive at that elevation. Plague Year follows two groups of survivors. One is a small group in the Sierra Mountains of California. The other group includes a nanotech researcher who was aboard the international space station and manages to land near what is left of the U. S. government in Leadville, Colorado.
"They ate Jorgensen first." pg. 1
"The high California Sierra, east of whatever remained of Sacramento, consisted of surprisingly straight lines. Ravines and drainages formed slashing V shapes." pg. 2
Every person on this mountain had left family and friends behind in the first mad scramble to get above the invisible sea of nanotech." pg. 6
"Of the few known facts, it was certain that the machine plague first got loose in northern California - San Jose, Cal Berkeley, someone's garage - and there hadn't been time for much warning." pg. 8
"The machine as they knew it seemed to be only a prototype, with room left for additional programming. The damned thing was biotech, organic, built to fool the human immune system." pg. 36
"It was a very human phenomenon, making a fear real by taking action intended to be preventative. They had created a problem that otherwise might not have arisen for years, if ever." pg. 161
Beautiful girls grew up differently than everyone else. The way they were adored had a distinct formative effect, turning many of them into show-offs of one kind or another." pg. 167