After the devastation of the Earth, a few survivors collect together to build a new society. Dar, a woman physitian, Nim, a teenager, Nunez, a fisherman, Zik, a young geologist, and Lilit, an ancient woman. Having gone through some hair-raising adventures, they arrive at a green valley, where they meet with an emprisoned community of scientists, technitians and artists. More
The background to Gaia is a combination of science fiction and fantasy, but its main interest is the way people cope with the events they are going through. The book tells two stories of people who have survived a total cataclysm of Earth and the destruction of the human race. Although the idea is not new, the way it is described here is different from what has been written before. The two stories converge at the end of the book.
The main story tells the adventures of five people on their way to safety, and it does it in stages. The first and main figure in it is Dar, a physician in her forties, who is the sole survivor of a ruined city, who has been saved in a mysterious, fantastic way. She arrives at a villa neighborhood that has also been destroyed, and finds there a sole survivor in the shape of a teen-age girl called Nim. The two of them set out to find a safe place, and after many adventures they meet with a third survivor. He is a middle-aged man called Nunez, who joins them in their search. As they continue on their way, they meet a fourth survivor, a young man called Zik whom they rescue from death. Every way they go, they find destruction and upheaval, the Earth has been turned over and new land appears everywhere. The four survivors reach a range of mountain, at the foot of which they meet an old woman called Lilit. From her they hear that they must cross the range in order to get to a safe haven, which lies on the other side. The five of them cross the range and reach a valley, which has not been touched by the catastrophe. There they settle and start a new life. A year later, in a search round the valley, they meet with another batch of survivors, some three hundred of them, who people the second story of the book.
These three hundred people, who appear in the Prologue, Interlude and Epilogue, are a community of scientists, artists, engineers and technicians, who were subjects of an experiment, living in a tight-fitting underground shelter for five year. After the upheaval, of which they knew nothing, they were trapped in the Shelter with no one to come and rescue them. When coming out, Dar meets among them her sole family survivor, an artist called Rima who was her sister-in-law Rima. Together, the five and the three hundred form a new community and hope to create a new life and a new society in the sheltered valley.