on Aug. 6, 2017 :
Rise of Man
book 1: Ascendance
E Wayne Stucki.
Extreme culture clash between primitive and modern man is a well worked theme in the SF genre. And it is well worked by this author.
The opportunity is well taken to make some easy but still amusing sly digs at colonialism.
Most of the story follows an imaginative reappraisal of how early man might have grown in skill, by having to adapt to the environment. In the process, it is a rather pleasant evocation of the simple life, without having to endure its hardships. The family even stumbles upon a garden of Eden or earthly paradise.
There seems to be an enduring hankering after the nuclear dream, amongst some science-fiction writers, ever since the over-the-top propaganda of the 1950s. They have not woken from their dream, to find that it is a delusion. (Because civilian [uranium fission] nuclear energy was, first and last, a hand-me-down and stooge to military nuclear weapons.) There are hints of that naivety here, and have been, at least since Walter M Miller Jr wrote A Canticle for Leibowitz. For them, the cloud of nuclear fallout has its silver lining, with some compensating adaptation, frequently miraculous, to weigh against the undoubted genetic devastation.
For the radiation research geneticist, Alice Stewart, it posed a threat of irrepairable harm to the human gene pool.
However, this issue does not spoil the plot, which does not depend on a nuclear bomb radioactivity as a causal factor. And it cannot be said from the book what the author actually believes about this issue.
(review of free book)