In post Peak-Oil Vancouver, Canada, the future is not bright. The end of the Petroleum Age means the luxuries we’ve come to enjoy – automobiles, computers, and e-readers – have been left in the distant past. Suburban communities like Surrey have been largely abandoned, and Vancouver itself is becoming a human wasteland of joblessness and homelessness. This is the stage set for author Jay Allan Storey’s new dystopian novel, Eldorado
The novel’s protagonist, Richard Hampton, is one of the few Vancouver residents with some semblance of a normal life. A college professor, he still has a house which he shares with his younger, troubled teenage brother, Danny. But when Danny disappears, the local police are unable to search for the missing youth, and Richard is forced to give up his comfort and set out to find his brother.
Richard’s journey takes him through the decaying remains of a civilization that was built on cheap oil, and destroyed itself by not heeding the warnings about dwindling oil supplies. The world Storey creates is no Mad Max look at the future, but a sobering, realistic view of what might lie ahead of us.
Those lucky enough to have homes must turn to subsistence farming to survive. Fuel and electricity are rationed by the government. There are few automobiles, and those are owned only by the wealthiest citizens. Bicycles and the occasional antiquated electric street car are the main modes of transport; even the police are restricted to patrolling on small, under-powered motorcycles called “mosquitoes” due to the high-pitch whine of their engines.
Criminal gangs and right-wing militias (who still don’t believe the Oil Age has ended) make the abandoned suburbs where Richard must search a No-Mans-Land. Beyond the setting of Vancouver, wars are being fought for whatever natural resources remain, but without oil the great armies of the United States and China have become little more than 19th century horse-drawn throw-backs.Eldorado
is an engaging and thrilling adventure, while also being a serious and thought provoking warning about the future that lies ahead.