The post-apocalyptic future of Brian Francis Slattery’s Lost Everything looks an awful lot like our current reality except lacking just about everything we take for granted.

A growing beat, they say, of stronger and stronger storms, a long chain of hurricanes, until the walls gave way and the streets went under, buildings fell. Savannah. Atlantic City. A freak storm in Boston. A ragged swath carved out of New York. The government able to do less and less, until it was just men in frayed suits, arguing in buildings where the power kept going out, whose surroundings were turning back into swampland.

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A long-running and extremely bloody civil war, destroyed infrastructure, and frequent storms are common. The big one– a storm of mythological size and intensity– is rumored to be coming down from the northwest. It has already swallowed the West.

The Big One, it is rumored, destroys everything and everyone. Believing in it’s existence means acknowledging your time to live is short. Sunny Jim believes. Along with Reverend Bauxite he is traveling North, toward the Big One, on the Susquehanna River to reunite with his son.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

This is technically science fiction, but I’m not sure it is truly geeky book. We are reviewing it only because it’s a nominee for the 2012 Phillip K Dick award and we said we’d review all of the nominees. I’m really glad I did.

Rating (5 stars)

Our rating for geeky books is boolean. It’s either on the site, or it’s not. Our five star rating is about the book itself. “Lost Everything” exemplifies the idea of showing, not telling. Through his descriptions you feel the horror of civil war, hopelessness in the face of the Big One, the joy of simple pleasure, the indifference to loss, and you understand just how much we have to lose.