Station Eleven – sci-fi for the rest of us
I don’t know why, but I have never been attracted to science fiction – until recently that is. A few months back I read The Martian by Andy Weir which was a great read. It is being made into a film starring Matt Damon and should be pretty good although I’m not sure how they will make all the science exciting without giving us a science lesson at the same time which is what happened in the book. It will be interesting to see. Anyway… on to Station Eleven. Station Eleven is an apocalyptic novel based around the idea that a new Flu pandemic destroys 99 percent of the world’s population within a week or two. The novel uses the life of Arthur Leander as a central focus point for all of the characters. He is a famous Hollywood actor whose life reflects the current obsession with celebrity and wealth and he dies just hours before the pandemic hits the USA East Coast. The story weaves back and forth between before the pandemic and 20 years after the pandemic and various mysteries and connections are revealed along the way. I really enjoyed the journey and do not agree with some reviewers that say the author has glossed over the effect of the pandemic on the population initially. I believe we already have enough depictions of the horror and chaos that would ensue for the interim in such books as War of the Worlds and The Road. I prefer this more optimistic look at how society may re-invent itself after such a disaster.