The Sea and Summer

Francis Conway is Swill one of the millions in the year 2041 who must subsist on the inadequate charities of the state Life, already difficult, is rapidly becoming impossible for Francis and others like him, as government corruption, official blindness and nature have conspired to turn Swill homes into watery tombs And now the young boy must find a way to escape the apFrancis Conway is Swill one of the millions in the year 2041 who must subsist on the inadequate charities of the state Life, already difficult, is rapidly becoming impossible for Francis and others like him, as government corruption, official blindness and nature have conspired to turn Swill homes into watery tombs And now the young boy must find a way to escape the approaching tide of disaster.The Sea and Summer, published in the US as The Drowning Towers is George Turner s masterful exploration of the effects of climate change in the not too distant future Comparable to J.G Ballard s The Drowned World, it was shortlisted for the Nebula and won the Arthur C Clarke Award.Winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award for best novel, 1988
The Sea and Summer Francis Conway is Swill one of the millions in the year who must subsist on the inadequate charities of the state Life already difficult is rapidly becoming impossible for Francis and others li

  • Title: The Sea and Summer
  • Author: George Turner
  • ISBN: 9780586203583
  • Page: 185
  • Format: None
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    1 thought on “The Sea and Summer”

    1. The novel has been out of print for some time, indeed I tried to find a copy a couple of years ago and couldn’t. Thankfully Gollanz have seen fit to reprint it as part of their masterworks series.So how, after 25 years, does the book hold up?Remarkably well is the short answer. Apart from a couple of historical errors that have crept in with the relentless march of time, it’s a book that fans of Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker series and Anna North’s America Pacifica would enjoy.It’s a [...]

    2. Technically a science fiction title, it is more just near futuristic – and hauntingly plausible. In the coming decades, class stratification leads to sharp division between Sweet (those with jobs and a tenuous grasp at some sense of instable stability, roughly analogous to our present-day middle class) and Swill, the despised underclass forced to contend with sea levels rising around their high-rise towers, massive unemployment and no sense of hope. Billy Kovacs, a tower boss, keeps his world [...]

    3. Drowning Towers is yet another good entry in the science/speculative fiction genre. The title ruins the first impression, though, because it sets the tone of doom and gloom way too early. For that reason, the title given to the novel inside the novel - The sea and summer - works much better. The sea and summer is very innocent and is very much in contrast with the world the author portrays. Turner's vision of the future is grim and dreary; it might not be as extreme as Harrison's Make room! Make [...]

    4. One of the all-time best science fiction books ever! Takes place in Australia, in a world where global warming and rising sea levels and a collapsed economy divide people into two groups: the "sweet"--those who have jobs--and the "swill"--those who live on a meager public assistance program in decrepit public housing, scrabbling to survive. This is your future, America. Wake up and do something before it's too late.

    5. Me oh my oh, the Australians know how to show the slow slide into apocalypse. Mad Max shows a world not too different from our own, but terrible in its changes. In that movie, the changes are never really discussed, but they are the subtext of the film. Australian author George Turner's Arthur C Clarke Award winning Drowning Towers (known as the Sea and Summer in the UK) tells a similarly bleak tale of life after the decline of civilization.The book is framed by a story of the Autumn people (so [...]

    6. Una vez más, he tenido ciertas dudas a la hora de valorar esta novela. Sé con certeza que se encuentra en el 3.5, y aunque tal vez pueda superarlo un poco, me ha parecido que las cuatro estrellas serían excesivas.Como novela distópica o postapocalíptica, resulta interesante sobre todo en su construcción de la sociedad en un mundo que se derrumba, y en la aproximación realista a las causas de tal derrumbe, en el que todavía se encuentran los personajes inmersos en la novela dentro de la n [...]

    7. This book was recommended to me when I was looking for a novel about ecocastrophe to teach; it's very much a pity that it is out of print. It was published in 1987 and the concerns it reflects are still very much in the forefront, particularly economic collapse and ecological catastrophe.In mid-21st century Australia, there is 90% unemployment, the small and tenuous middle class (the Sweet) are in constant fear of losing their jobs, but buck themselves up with their scorn of the Swill, who live [...]

    8. An incredibly prescient novel (published in 1987) set in a 21st century Melbourne that is drowning, literally, as the Greenhouse Effect has made chaos of the weather and food production. Only the tallest towers and the Dandenongs remain above water as the haves and the have-nots battle for survival.

    9. Wonderful, thought provoking science fiction from an author I've never heard of. A multi-pov novel that uses two separate futures to comment on the inability of representing the whole throug the part, but also the inability of doing anything else. The calm, measured unfolding of almost inevitable events builds into a terrifying intensity at the end of the novel.

    10. I’ve never been an advocate of the idea that you must be familiar with certain writers and works in order to call yourself a science fiction fan, but sometimes I find a gap in my reading that’s frankly embarrassing.So it was with George Turner, the Australian, Melburnian author of acclaimed SF and literary novels. Until The Sea and Summer was quoted in Sophie Cunningham’s Melbourne, I had never heard of him.Born in 1916, he was already an accomplished critic and novelist (winner of the Mil [...]

    11. This was a good book, but it was missing…mething. The population - and the planet - are ravaged by climate change and changing technology. The people are fractured into several groups: the low-class, jobless Swill, living off of the Government in cramped high-rise towers; the elite Sweet, living in mansions and doing their best to forget about the Swill, and the Fringers, the poor souls on their way from Sweetdom to Swilldom.The story focuses on a particular Fringe family, the Conways; the two [...]

    12. Nearly 3 decades ago the author said this book is not prophetic or a dire warning. He was wrong. It, like 1984, is both. It is perhaps the scariest novel I have read since. Scary because the science, politics and social effects of climate change he shows are all coming true. This is done using elegant characterization. Billy Kovacs, Teddie Kovacs will be part of my life from here on—as will the stink of humans. Turner reveals truths and obvious secrets that today would likely deem him 'terrori [...]

    13. This review was originally published on my blog. Who wrote the first climate fiction novel? The small cadre of writers and editors interested in this new branch of science fiction cite J.G. Ballard’s 1962 novel The Drowned World as one of the first, if not the first, novels to explore how humanity copes with a warming world. But Ballard’s novel was published long before human-caused climate change was identified in the 1980s. In his world, an uptick in solar radiation melts the ice caps and [...]

    14. Uno no puede evitar relacionar el mundo distopico de Turner con lo que vivimos en la actualidad (Cambio climático y estancamiento económico, pero llevado al extremo, donde se puede ver las consecuencias de la auto complacencia.

    15. Estupendo libro. Tengo que admitir que su primer capítulo me desmotivó un poco, pero una vez que el autor comienza "realmente" la historia, esta se vuelve absorvente y profunda. Me recuerda un poco a George Orwell.

    16. A must-read for anyone who is not yet concerned about the devastation we are causing to the environment. And it's set in right here in Melbourne. Mainly in Newport, actually Close to home. A well-deserved winner of the Arthur C Clark award. RIP George.

    17. sci-fi: using an alternative/future view of science and reality to paint your picture or build the world that makes us question our own (cf.Drowning Towers)

    18. Turner extrapoliert heutige Trends. So gibt es durch die konkurrenzbedingte Rationalisierung immer mehr Arbeitslose, bis sie in der Mitte des 21. Jahrhunderts neun Zehntel ausmachen. Durch die Versorgung dieser Massen machen die Industriestaaten bankrott, das Währungssystem bricht zusammen. Hinsichtlich der Arbeitslosigkeit möchte ich anmerken, daß ich mir schwer vorstellen kann, daß die Menschen die Entwicklung bis zu diesem Stand einfach hinnehmen werden. Jedoch haben die anderen Entwicklu [...]

    19. Published in 1987, The Sea and Summer (Drowning Towers in the USA), but for a few anachronistic omissions (for example, mobile phones), could have been written today.The story, set in an imagined mid to late 21st century is told from a future perspective, by an archaeologist historian turned author. When I say imagined, it's not that much of a stretch!The collapse of civilisation as we know it, has already occurred with population and global warming especially, cited as the main causes. We find [...]

    20. A few months ago I discovered George Turner. For someone who loves science- fiction, not to know George Turner is frankly embarrassing. My only excuse is that The Sea and the Summer does not feel like a science-fiction. It is so closely based on extrapolation of proven scientific facts that it is difficult to describe it as science fiction at all. The plot is not great but the structure of the story is interesting and complex. There is an intense human feeling throughout the book; the novel is c [...]

    21. nwhytevejournal/2718954mlI confess that I knew nothing of this book or of the writer, and had no expectations whatsoever; and I also confess that I really liked it. It's set in a dystopian Australia of the near future (though the story is told with a framing narrative of researchers from the not-quite-so-near future looking back and trying to work out what was going on, a device I usually love). Society is divided between the well-off Sweet and the proletarian Swill, and the central characters a [...]

    22. Se plantea como "El mejor heredero de Orwell" y la verdad es que se puede apreciar su influencia en toda la obra. Al ser de 1987 tiene en mente otro problemas como la superpoblación, la economía o la guerra nuclear. Es un libro que empieza bastante bien, contándonos el futuro a la obra principal para comenzar con la historia principal.Tiene un buen comienzo, describiendo los problemas de la sociedad y enseñándonos ligeramente a los personajes. La novela avanza poco a poco, por veces bastant [...]

    23. There are remarkable ideas in this book, and its visions of economic collapse, the separation of the small minority of people that there is work for, and the rest who are permanently unemployed, as well as its presaging of the rise of the oceans due to climate change are all precocious for when it was written. I can see how the book won praise in its time for the ideas alone.As a piece of literature its value is far more doubtful. The author seems incapable of leaving character development to ac [...]

    24. The type of mediocrity this book represents is probably familiar to you if you read science fiction: it's a dystopia generated by taking a current problem with society and extrapolating it into its worst possible outcome. Thus did book burning beget Fahrenheit 451, did Christian fundamentalism beget The Handmaid's Tale, did Collectivism beget Anthem. Turner does the same operation using global warming, with mediocre results. Not that it's just about global warming, as Turner instead throws overp [...]

    25. This is very much a book about concerns. And whilst some of the ideas are rooted in the 80s, the worries it has for the future feel very contemporary and well explored.Unfortunately one area that is suffers from this is the narrative. It has a frame that I find unconvincing, a story that is a bit and characters that are not fully fleshed out.But still worth going into for a tale of ideas.

    26. Awesome book. Just so very good. Great characters, great story, and such an authentic vision of Melbourne in the mid-21st century’s after decades of inaction on climate and economic change. Highly recommended.

    27. Published in Australia in 1987 as "The Sea and Summer", I just finished rereading this dystopian look at climate change, population and inequality set in Melbourne. A fine book, dark and thoughtful. I actually look out at the towers of the title, huge housing blocks, from my office window.

    28. Worth the readLess action than I️ typically like in a “pleasure” read but still an amazing piece of dystopian literature. I’m glad I️ read it.

    29. I started this expecting an environmental science fiction novel but it quickly turned into a social commentary on the sweet (the haves) and the swill (the have-nots). The sweet consider the swill to be swill because of character defects. The swill are lazy, stupid, entitled etc. Does any of this sound familiar? And should a swill somehow become a sweet, everyone understands that they're still swill underneath it all. And should a sweet become swill it's because they deserved it. They were never [...]

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