Review by Susan ParkinsonRoland Hughes’ fiction ‘Last Known Survivor of The Microsoft Wars’ is a post apocalyptic scenario containing many truths from the trivial to the terrifying.
Set in 2081 the novel takes the format of an interview over one week with one of only a few survivors (John Smith) of a destructive event and a journalist (Susan Krowley) reporting for The Times newspaper. The Times has a readership of 5,500, which is good in her world.
After a long search Susan found John in a secure, isolated and secret place in America , part of which is now under water. Now aged 79 John tries to explain the world of 2013 – ‘THE EARTH THAT WAS’, when the event happened.
In the world of 2081 people have gone forward in time but back in knowledge reverting to traveling by horse and they know nothing about computers, nuclear power, weapons of mass destruction, NASA, transistor radios, microwave ovens, ballpoint pens that write upside down, inkjet cartridges, gravity, Genome Project, and many more inventions that we take for granted today. John talks about God and religion which Susan knows nothing about.
John tells Susan that weapons of mass destruction ‘could allow 15 people to take over the world’. What a terrifying thought!
There is a wonderful description of our life today in relation to the cellphone.
We get an overview of History both of people and the natural world which is fascinating.
John tells Susan that the Pyramids are tombs for dead Egyptian Kings where they were placed after death. This was great for the King but not so good for the slaves who had to join their Master alive!
The style is erudite, informative and fascinating and it illustrates the progress of the human race’s industrial and electronic development but what we need to remember today is that we are interdependent on each other for our survival. We need all types of people with varied skills. This is illustrated well in this novel.
The book is not just for readers interested in futuristic writing but also for the general reader as it explains the incredible inventions and progress achieved over the centuries. It certainly inspired me to research various topics including The Lost City of Atlantis and Nuclear Power.
Roland Hughes is an IT expert, which lends this fiction credibility.
George Orwell’s novel ‘1984’ is referenced. I believe that Roland Hughes’ novel should be considered as important as ‘1984’ and Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’. Highly recommended as a thought provoking and fascinating read.
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