In          Hamish          MacDonald’s          ‘Finitude,’ humankind       teeters       on       the       brink       of extinction     after     failing     to     clean     up     its environmental act and save the planet.
By BRADLEY WINTERTON Contributing reporter Over   the   past   few   months   Taiwan-based   journalist Dan   Bloom   has   become   more   and   more   concerned with   climate-change   issues,   notably   the   prospect   of humanity   retreating   to   new   cities   built   in   the   polar regions   to   escape   rising   temperatures   elsewhere.   So when    he    strongly    urged    me    to    read    a    new    novel, published    online    and    set    in    an    environmentally devastated future, I felt duty-bound to take a look. E-books   are   the   modern   version   of   self-publishing. Contrary   to   what   many   choose   to   think,   this   is   an honorable   way   of   issuing   works,   and   one   with   a   long history.   William   Blake   printed   and   colored   his   own books,   Shelley   had   pamphlets   privately   printed   and then   tried   to   hand   them   out   to   passing   citizens,   and Ronald    Firbank    self-published    all    his    novels,    now considered   by   many   as   classics,   in   the   1920s.   Even James   Joyce’s   Ulysses   was   self-published   in   a   way   brought   out   by   a   friend   who   ran   a   Paris   bookshop rather than by an established publishing house. Hamish   MacDonald   stands   in   this   august   tradition, writing    novels    and    issuing    them    online,    but    also hand-printing      and      binding      them      in      his      own workshop.   This   combination   of   the   newest   and   one of   the   oldest   technologies   feels   like   the   true   mark   of a dedicated indie publisher. Finitude   is   set   at   an   unspecified   time   in   the   future. Two     men,     Jeremy     and     Victor,     are     heading     for somewhere    called    Iktyault    in    search    of    Jeremy’s parents.   On   the   road   they   encounter   other   travelers, plus     whole     societies,     that     have     responded     in different     ways     to     the     horrors     brought     on     or threatened   by   climate   change.   “Terraists”   roam   the land,     frozen     ground     is     thawing     and     releasing methane    that’s    waiting    to    ignite,    there    are    Non- Reproduction    Benefits,    compressed    air    cars    (now obsolete),    something    intended    to    be    edible    called Mete   (“no   amount   of   cooking   was   going   to   make   it better”),   a   city   of   the   blind,   a   sea   of   plastic,   gangs, looting and, needless to say, wars over resources. This    is    essentially    a    novel    of    ideas.    None    of    the characters     is     particularly     memorable,     and     you wouldn’t   lose   much   sleep   if   one   of   the   major   players disappeared    in    a    flash    of    light    —    an    ever-present possibility.    But    the    ideas    are    strong    —    sometimes ingenious,   but   more   often   just   humane.   Others   had “spent   the   wealth   of   the   world,”   says   a   warlord,   Tydial Lupercus,   in   a   memorable   phrase;   once   a   farmer,   he began   to   move   north   as   his   topsoil   turned   to   dust. Disaster   struck   because   people   debated   the   science of    the    situation    rather    than    simply    caring    for    the planet,    argues    another.    And    carbon    trading    was intended   to   help   poorer   nations,   but   when   one   of them    didn’t    play    ball    the    world    government    (the “International Coalition”) simply invaded, and so on. There’s   some   grim   humor,   too.   The   pair   arrive   at   one destination    and    a    character    offers    a    toast    to    “the ultimate   survivors.”   Jeremy,   however,   “wasn’t   sure   if he   was   referring   to   them   or   the   cockroaches.”   And the    permafrost    is    thawing,    the    ice    in    the    oceans melting,   and   if   the   trapped   methane   suddenly   erupts the   planet   is   going   to   become   “a   big,   lifeless   rock.”   To which   a   character   replies:   “Suddenly   the   fact   that   I’m feeling hungry doesn’t seem so important.” The    government    and    its    efforts    are    viewed    with considerable    skepticism.    It    had    announced    a    “VC (Victory     over     the     Climate)     Day,”     and     was     now planning   to   launch   a   rocket   to   block   the   sun’s   rays and   so   reduce   the   Earth’s   temperature.   Little   goes according   to   plan,   however.   Yet   the   book   ends   on   a slightly    optimistic    note,    with    any    final    collapse    at least    temporarily    delayed,    and    the    now    reunited family   setting   off   by   boat   towards   some   sort   of   viable future.     The     author     doesn’t     give     many     credible grounds    for    their    optimism    —    someone    mentions the   possibility   of   a   50-year   reprieve   —   and   you   feel that   this   ending   was   adopted   in   preference   to   a   bleak one   of   total   collapse,   or   an   ecological   equivalent   to Orwell’s Room 101. One    curiosity    is    that    there’s    a    casually-treated    gay element   in   the   story.   Maybe   the   lack   of   comment   by other    characters    is    meant    to    represent    a    likely characteristic    of    society    in    general    in    the    future. Certainly it’s never explained in any other terms. Finitude   stands   in   the   tradition   of   dystopian   novels like    Aldous    Huxley’s    Brave    New    World    and    George Orwell’s   1984.   These   offered   visions   of   nightmarish futures   with   the   implicit   message   that   this   was   how things    might    turn    out    if    we    didn’t    take    action    to change    our    ways.    Huxley    warned    of    eugenics,    or tampering   with   the   genes   of   our   descendents,   and Orwell   of   the   totalitarianism   that   was   inseparable,   as he   saw   it,   from   communism.   In   the   place   of   these fears,   Finitude   offers   unchecked   global   warming,   the danger    almost    everyone    is    now    focusing    on.    The strange   thing   is   that   we   haven’t   been   deluged   with novels on this theme already. This   book   reads   more   like   Philip   Pullman’s   His   Dark Materials    trilogy   than   the   science   fiction   it   would   have been    classified    as    10    years    ago.    Science    fiction    is supposed   to   deal   with   future   events   that   are,   from   a rational   viewpoint,   never   likely   to   happen.   Finitude,   by contrast, feels more like ecological prophecy. This   is   a   coherent,   lively   and   fast-moving   attempt   to put   a   widely   feared   future   into   imaginative,   fictional form.   It’s   all   the   more   attractive   for   being   available free    of    charge    online    for    prospective    readers    to sample   at   their   leisure.   All   this   author’s   novels   are available   in   a   format   that   can   be   downloaded   […]   and hand-bound   copies   ordered   from   the   home   page   of the same Web site.
TAIPEI TIMES January 10, 2010
Hamish   MacDonald   is   the   author   of   four   novels and   the   creator   of   the   DIY   Book   podcast.   It   was this   last   that   I   heard   of   first   a   number   of   years ago,   and   it   struck   a   chord.   The   idea   of   being   in control   of   the   publishing   process   right   from   the first    germ    of    an    idea    through    the    writing    and printing    and    binding    all    the    way    to    selling    the finished    book    online    was    (and    is)    an    intriguing one.     The     project     is     now     complete     and     the complete   archive   is   accessible   for   free   at   the   link above.    I    highly    recommend    you    have    a    look    if you’re interested in publishing your own writing. It   was   with   this   background   that   a   few   of   us   met MacDonald      last      year      at      the      International Alternative   Press   Fair   in   London.   I   almost   always leave   events   like   the   IAPF   having   spent   our   entire take   on   small   press   books   and   magazines,   and that   day   wasn’t   any   different.   One   of   the   things   I picked    up    was    MacDonald’s    novel    Finitude,    an adventure   story   set   in   the   midst   of   catastrophic climate   change.   This   year   I’m   supposedly   catching up   with   my   unread   backlog,   or   at   least   making   a sizeable   dent   in   it,   and   so   a   few   weeks   ago   I   finally got around to reading Finitude. I   shouldn’t   have   waited   so   long   —   it’s   a   great   little book. Although   set   in   an   almost-Earth   engulfed   by   the devastating   effects   of   changing   climate,   it   doesn’t read    like    a    polemic.    It    remembers    to    be    an entertaining    story    first;    it’s    a    fable    of    climate change.    It    helps    that    MacDonald    has    Douglas Adams’    ear    for    dialogue.    The    world    might    be falling   apart   around   them,   but   the   characters   in Finitude   never   sound   anything   other   than   human. Wittier   than   most   of   us,   but   human   nonetheless. It   is   this   bounding   good   nature   that   carries   the episodic      narrative      through      to      the      book’s beautifully gauged conclusion. Even   if   this   was   a   normal   book   I’d   recommend   it, but   if   you   are   interested   in   DIY   publishing,   you need   to   pick   up   one   of   MacDonald’s   creations,   if only    to    understand    the    kind    of    quality    that    is achievable   by   doing   things   on   your   own.   Finitude is   beautifully   written,   strongly   edited   (often   a   key failing   of   self-published   books),   well   designed   and constructed.   I’ll   be   reading   more,   and   so   should you. - Euan
STRUCTO MAGAZINE April 23, 2013
Reader Reviews
Hamish   MacDonald's   novel   Finitude   should   be   a   favorite   for anyone    concerned    with    the    environment    and    who    also doesn't   want   to   be   overwhelmed   with   doom.   There   are   not too   many   light-hearted   end-of-the-world   adventure   stories   - with    a    little    bit    of    romance    thrown    in-    that    are    well- researched     and     optimistic     in     spite     of     the     dystopian cataclysmic setting. Like    all    of    Hamish    MacDonald's    books,    the    characters    in Finitude   are   fresh,   memorable,   and   very   likable   accidental antiheroes.   After   finishing   the   book,   I   was   left   hoping   for both   a   prequel   and   sequel   that   could   expand   the   story.   A prequel   because   the   beginning   of   the   book,   set   in   a   near future   world,   was   full   of   fun   quirky   details   such   as   ingenious devices    to    buy    privacy    back    from    ever    more    invasive advertising,    designer    rhinestone-studded    gas    masks,    and 'Mete',   favorite   food   of   the   masses.   And   a   sequel   because most    of    the    story    takes    place    after    all    hell    breaks    loose (environmentally)   and   is   a   fast   moving   adventure   spanning oceans,   continents,   and   epiphanies   on   plastic   gyres   -   that leaves   the   reader   wanting   to   know   what   happens   next   in   a changed and challenging world. What    holds    the    story    together    through    a    multitude    of dynamic   twists   and   turns,   are   the   three   main   character's abilities   to   feel   love,   hope,   and   determination   to   keep   going, no   matter   how   bad   things   look.   It   is   exciting   to   find   a   new author   who   uses   intelligence,   heart,   and   humble   humor   to confront    the    frightening    environmental    realities    of    our current world. - Cynthia L'Hirondelle, Three Penny Publishing Speaking    of    the    End    Of    The    World    As    We    Know    It,    I’m reading   a   book   by   an   amazing   micropress   publisher   who hand-makes     all     his     (gorgeous!)     books.     He’s     Hamish MacDonald,   and   the   book   is   Finitude.   It’s   not   really   the   kind of   book   I’d   normally   read…   speculative   fiction,   sci-fi,   end- times    kind    of    thing.    But    the    confession    is    —    I’m    really digging it. The   world   is   ending   because   of   humanity’s   environmental abuses.   But   our   anti-hero   —   a   gay   salesman   who   just   wants to   save   his   own   ass   —   makes   it   superfascinating   and   not preachy. MacDonald    knows    how    to    tell    a    story    well,    and    has    an imagination   on   par   with   some   of   the   most   famous   science fiction    writers    out    there.    The    characters    are    well-painted and   the   action   is   downright   filmic.   Thumbs   up   for   making me read something out of my normal range… and like it. - Sandra Alland,   blissfultimes.ca I   finished   Finitude   at   the   weekend   —   I   totally   loved   it!   I   found myself     really     looking     forward     to     nabbing     another     10 minutes    to    read    some    more    and    really    wondering    what would   happen   next.   It   has   a   right   rollicking   plot   line   (a   bit like   teen   fiction)   that   grabs   you   by   the   scruff   of   the   neck   and pulls     you     forwards.     I     loved     the     inventiveness     of     the 'universe'    it    created    —    I    believed    it,    and    that's    half    the battle.   It   was   also   really   special   to   hold   a   book   made   by   the author themselves... it added to the experience. - Liz Holt, LizHolt.co.uk Hamish   MacDonald   has   seen   the   future   and   written   it   down in   a   picaresque   new   novel   called   Finitude.   It's   not   about   the end   of   the   world,   but   almost.   It's   about   climate   change   and global   warming,   set   in   the   near   future   in   a   parallel   world which    has    fallen    into    chaos    —    and    is    borderless    and nameless.   It's   Mad   Max    meets   The   Road .   It's   Douglas   Adams on    acid.    It's    a    world    that    very    well    might    be,    and    it incorporates   the   very   real   headlines   of   today   to   create   a very   realistic   world   of   tomorrow.   It's   not   a   pretty   picture,   but it's   very   well   written,   very   well   plotted,   very   well   paced   and with    a    cast    of    characters    that    will    keep    you    turning    the pages   until   the   very   end.   And   it   ends   on   a   positive   note... Sort of. - Danny Bloom, northwardho.blogspot.com * *Mr Bloom has also written a longer review .
Hope for the Best and Prepare for the Worst
Hope for the Best and Prepare for the Worst
In          Hamish          MacDonald’s          ‘Finitude,’ humankind       teeters       on       the       brink       of extinction     after     failing     to     clean     up     its environmental act and save the planet.
By BRADLEY WINTERTON Contributing reporter Over    the    past    few months           Taiwan- based   journalist   Dan Bloom    has    become more       and       more concerned            with   issues,    notably    the prospect   of   humanity   retreating   to   new   cities   built   in the    polar    regions    to    escape    rising    temperatures elsewhere.   So   when   he   strongly   urged   me   to   read   a new     novel,     published     online     and     set     in     an environmentally   devastated   future,   I   felt   duty-bound to take a look. E-books   are   the   modern   version   of   self-publishing. Contrary   to   what   many   choose   to   think,   this   is   an honorable   way   of   issuing   works,   and   one   with   a   long history.   William   Blake   printed   and   colored   his   own books,   Shelley   had   pamphlets   privately   printed   and then   tried   to   hand   them   out   to   passing   citizens,   and Ronald    Firbank    self-published    all    his    novels,    now considered   by   many   as   classics,   in   the   1920s.   Even James   Joyce’s   Ulysses   was   self-published   in   a   way   brought   out   by   a   friend   who   ran   a   Paris   bookshop rather than by an established publishing house. Hamish   MacDonald   stands   in   this   august   tradition, writing    novels    and    issuing    them    online,    but    also hand-printing     and     binding     them     in     his     own workshop.   This   combination   of   the   newest   and   one of   the   oldest   technologies   feels   like   the   true   mark   of a dedicated indie publisher. Finitude   is   set   at   an   unspecified   time   in   the   future. Two     men,     Jeremy     and     Victor,     are     heading     for somewhere    called    Iktyault    in    search    of    Jeremy’s parents.   On   the   road   they   encounter   other   travelers, plus     whole     societies,     that     have     responded     in different     ways     to     the     horrors     brought     on     or threatened   by   climate   change.   “Terraists”   roam   the land,     frozen     ground     is     thawing     and     releasing methane    that’s    waiting    to    ignite,    there    are    Non- Reproduction    Benefits,    compressed    air    cars    (now obsolete),   something   intended   to   be   edible   called Mete   (“no   amount   of   cooking   was   going   to   make   it better”),   a   city   of   the   blind,   a   sea   of   plastic,   gangs, looting and, needless to say, wars over resources. This    is    essentially    a    novel    of    ideas.    None    of    the characters     is     particularly     memorable,     and     you wouldn’t   lose   much   sleep   if   one   of   the   major   players disappeared   in   a   flash   of   light   —   an   ever-present possibility.   But   the   ideas   are   strong   —   sometimes ingenious,   but   more   often   just   humane.   Others   had “spent    the    wealth    of    the    world,”    says    a    warlord, Tydial    Lupercus,    in    a    memorable    phrase;    once    a farmer,    he    began    to    move    north    as    his    topsoil turned    to    dust.    Disaster    struck    because    people debated    the    science    of    the    situation    rather    than simply   caring   for   the   planet,   argues   another.   And carbon   trading   was   intended   to   help   poorer   nations, but    when    one    of    them    didn’t    play    ball    the    world government    (the    “International    Coalition”)    simply invaded, and so on. There’s   some   grim   humor,   too.   The   pair   arrive   at one   destination   and   a   character   offers   a   toast   to “the    ultimate    survivors.”    Jeremy,    however,    “wasn’t sure   if   he   was   referring   to   them   or   the   cockroaches.” And   the   permafrost   is   thawing,   the   ice   in   the   oceans melting,     and     if     the     trapped     methane     suddenly erupts   the   planet   is   going   to   become   “a   big,   lifeless rock.”   To   which   a   character   replies:   “Suddenly   the fact     that     I’m     feeling     hungry     doesn’t     seem     so important.” The    government    and    its    efforts    are    viewed    with considerable    skepticism.    It    had    announced    a    “VC (Victory     over     the     Climate)     Day,”     and     was     now planning   to   launch   a   rocket   to   block   the   sun’s   rays and   so   reduce   the   Earth’s   temperature.   Little   goes according   to   plan,   however.   Yet   the   book   ends   on   a slightly    optimistic    note,    with    any    final    collapse    at least    temporarily    delayed,    and    the    now    reunited family    setting    off    by    boat    towards    some    sort    of viable   future.   The   author   doesn’t   give   many   credible grounds   for   their   optimism   —   someone   mentions the   possibility   of   a   50-year   reprieve   —   and   you   feel that    this    ending    was    adopted    in    preference    to    a bleak     one     of     total     collapse,     or     an     ecological equivalent to Orwell’s Room 101. One   curiosity   is   that   there’s   a   casually-treated   gay element   in   the   story.   Maybe   the   lack   of   comment   by other    characters    is    meant    to    represent    a    likely characteristic    of    society    in    general    in    the    future. Certainly it’s never explained in any other terms. Finitude   stands   in   the   tradition   of   dystopian   novels like    Aldous    Huxley’s    Brave    New    World    and    George Orwell’s   1984.   These   offered   visions   of   nightmarish futures   with   the   implicit   message   that   this   was   how things    might    turn    out    if    we    didn’t    take    action    to change    our    ways.    Huxley    warned    of    eugenics,    or tampering   with   the   genes   of   our   descendents,   and Orwell   of   the   totalitarianism   that   was   inseparable, as   he   saw   it,   from   communism.   In   the   place   of   these fears,   Finitude   offers   unchecked   global   warming,   the danger    almost    everyone    is    now    focusing    on.    The strange   thing   is   that   we   haven’t   been   deluged   with novels on this theme already. This   book   reads   more   like   Philip   Pullman’s   His   Dark Materials     trilogy    than    the    science    fiction    it    would have   been   classified   as   10   years   ago.   Science   fiction is   supposed   to   deal   with   future   events   that   are,   from a   rational   viewpoint,   never   likely   to   happen.   Finitude, by contrast, feels more like ecological prophecy. This   is   a   coherent,   lively   and   fast-moving   attempt   to put   a   widely   feared   future   into   imaginative,   fictional form.   It’s   all   the   more   attractive   for   being   available free    of    charge    online    for    prospective    readers    to sample   at   their   leisure.   All   this   author’s   novels   are available   in   a   format   that   can   be   downloaded   […] and    hand-bound    copies    ordered    from    the    home page of the same Web site.
TAIPEI TIMES January 10, 2010
Hamish     MacDonald     is the   author   of   four   novels and    the    creator    of    the DIY   Book   podcast.   It   was this   last   that   I   heard   of first    a    number    of    years ago,   and   it   struck   a   chord.   The   idea   of   being   in control   of   the   publishing   process   right   from   the first   germ   of   an   idea   through   the   writing   and printing   and   binding   all   the   way   to   selling   the finished   book   online   was   (and   is)   an   intriguing one.    The    project    is    now    complete    and    the complete   archive   is   accessible   for   free   at   the   link above.   I   highly   recommend   you   have   a   look   if you’re interested in publishing your own writing. It   was   with   this   background   that   a   few   of   us   met MacDonald      last      year      at      the      International Alternative   Press   Fair   in   London.   I   almost   always leave    events    like    the    IAPF    having    spent    our entire   take   on   small   press   books   and   magazines, and   that   day   wasn’t   any   different.   One   of   the things     I     picked     up     was     MacDonald’s     novel Finitude,   an   adventure   story   set   in   the   midst   of catastrophic     climate     change.     This     year     I’m supposedly   catching   up   with   my   unread   backlog, or   at   least   making   a   sizeable   dent   in   it,   and   so   a few   weeks   ago   I   finally   got   around   to   reading Finitude. I   shouldn’t   have   waited   so   long   —   it’s   a   great little book. Although   set   in   an   almost-Earth   engulfed   by   the devastating     effects     of     changing     climate,     it doesn’t   read   like   a   polemic.   It   remembers   to   be an   entertaining   story   first;   it’s   a   fable   of   climate change.    It    helps    that    MacDonald    has    Douglas Adams’    ear    for    dialogue.    The    world    might    be falling   apart   around   them,   but   the   characters   in Finitude     never     sound     anything     other     than human.    Wittier    than    most    of    us,    but    human nonetheless.   It   is   this   bounding   good   nature   that carries    the    episodic    narrative    through    to    the book’s beautifully gauged conclusion. Even   if   this   was   a   normal   book   I’d   recommend   it, but   if   you   are   interested   in   DIY   publishing,   you need   to   pick   up   one   of   MacDonald’s   creations,   if only   to   understand   the   kind   of   quality   that   is achievable     by     doing     things     on     your     own. Finitude    is    beautifully    written,    strongly    edited (often   a   key   failing   of   self-published   books),   well designed   and   constructed.   I’ll   be   reading   more, and so should you. - Euan
STRUCTO MAGAZINE April 23, 2013
Reader Reviews
Hamish    MacDonald's    novel    Finitude    should be   a   favorite   for   anyone   concerned   with   the environment   and   who   also   doesn't   want   to be   overwhelmed   with   doom.   There   are   not too     many     light-hearted     end-of-the-world adventure   stories   -with   a   little   bit   of   romance thrown     in-     that     are     well-researched     and optimistic      in      spite      of      the      dystopian cataclysmic setting. Like   all   of   Hamish   MacDonald's   books,   the characters   in   Finitude   are   fresh,   memorable, and   very   likable   accidental   antiheroes.   After finishing   the   book,   I   was   left   hoping   for   both a   prequel   and   sequel   that   could   expand   the story.    A    prequel    because    the    beginning    of the   book,   set   in   a   near   future   world,   was   full of     fun     quirky     details     such     as     ingenious devices   to   buy   privacy   back   from   ever   more invasive     advertising,     designer     rhinestone- studded   gas   masks,   and   'Mete',   favorite   food of   the   masses.   And   a   sequel   because   most   of the    story    takes    place    after    all    hell    breaks loose   (environmentally)   and   is   a   fast   moving adventure   spanning   oceans,   continents,   and epiphanies   on   plastic   gyres   -   that   leaves   the reader   wanting   to   know   what   happens   next in a changed and challenging world. What    holds    the    story    together    through    a multitude   of   dynamic   twists   and   turns,   are the    three    main    character's    abilities    to    feel love,   hope,   and   determination   to   keep   going, no   matter   how   bad   things   look.   It   is   exciting to   find   a   new   author   who   uses   intelligence, heart,    and    humble    humor    to    confront    the frightening    environmental    realities    of    our current world. -       Cynthia       L'Hirondelle,       Three       Penny Publishing Speaking    of    the    End    Of    The    World    As    We Know   It,   I’m   reading   a   book   by   an   amazing micropress   publisher   who   hand-makes   all   his (gorgeous!)   books.   He’s   Hamish   MacDonald, and   the   book   is   Finitude.   It’s   not   really   the kind   of   book   I’d   normally   read…   speculative fiction,   sci-fi,   end-times   kind   of   thing.   But   the confession is — I’m really digging it. The   world   is   ending   because   of   humanity’s environmental   abuses.   But   our   anti-hero   —   a gay   salesman   who   just   wants   to   save   his   own ass    —    makes    it    superfascinating    and    not preachy. MacDonald   knows   how   to   tell   a   story   well, and   has   an   imagination   on   par   with   some   of the   most   famous   science   fiction   writers   out there.    The    characters    are    well-painted    and the   action   is   downright   filmic.   Thumbs   up   for making     me     read     something     out     of     my normal range… and like it. - Sandra Alland,   blissfultimes.ca I   finished   Finitude   at   the   weekend   —   I   totally loved   it!   I   found   myself   really   looking   forward to   nabbing   another   10   minutes   to   read   some more     and     really     wondering     what     would happen   next.   It   has   a   right   rollicking   plot   line (a   bit   like   teen   fiction)   that   grabs   you   by   the scruff   of   the   neck   and   pulls   you   forwards.   I loved    the    inventiveness    of    the    'universe'    it created   —   I   believed   it,   and   that's   half   the battle.    It    was    also    really    special    to    hold    a book    made    by    the    author    themselves...    it added to the experience. - Liz Holt, LizHolt.co.uk Hamish   MacDonald   has   seen   the   future   and written   it   down   in   a   picaresque   new   novel called   Finitude.   It's   not   about   the   end   of   the world,   but   almost.   It's   about   climate   change and   global   warming,   set   in   the   near   future   in a   parallel   world   which   has   fallen   into   chaos —   and   is   borderless   and   nameless.   It's   Mad Max    meets   The   Road .   It's   Douglas   Adams   on acid.   It's   a   world   that   very   well   might   be,   and it    incorporates    the    very    real    headlines    of today    to    create    a    very    realistic    world    of tomorrow.   It's   not   a   pretty   picture,   but   it's very   well   written,   very   well   plotted,   very   well paced   and   with   a   cast   of   characters   that   will keep    you    turning    the    pages    until    the    very end. And it ends on a positive note... Sort of. - Danny Bloom, northwardho.blogspot.com * *Mr Bloom has also written a longer review .