My life in outer space

Genesis Two – LP Davies (1969)

Genesis Two

‘After a black night of violent storms and a thunderous explosion, the inhabitants of the small, isolated town of Kirdale wake to a strange and terror-filled world.’

Blurb from the 1969 Playboy Press paperback edition

Davies is little known now, but produced a small crop of British SF novels in the Nineteen Sixties.
Two young men on a camping and hiking holiday get lost in a storm and end up in the mostly deserted village of Kirdale where a small number of villagers are holding out against the threat of being evicted so that the valley in which the village is situated can be flooded and turned into a reservoir.
During the night the ground shifts and the storm miraculously disappears. Along with the rest of the villagers; the kindly elderly couple who have put them up for the night, an irascible major, his son and daughter, and an older man and woman who are rumoured to have been having a clandestine affair, the boys soon discover that something very odd has happened.
When the boys attempt to leave they discover that the road leading out of the village is blocked by a stream of lava and a jungle of unfamiliar trees.
They then discover a machine which informs them that humans of the future have transported the village at least forty-thousand years into the future. It appears that humanity unwittingly poisoned the Earth with a new form of energy and have selected humans – via old newspaper reports – who would have died in disasters and their bodies not been found to give Humanity another chance.
Davies was never a major writer, but has to be given credit for producing workmanlike British SF which is very much character driven and evokes a society which, from a contemporary perspective, seems quite archaic. Oddly, as with some of John Wyndham’s work, it seemed a fashion of the time that only the middle classes would avoid global disaster.
Davies envisions his future world as being dominated by plant life as the exiles find no animal or bird life whatsoever. What they appear to identify as a large bird turns out to be an evolved seed pod which has developed gliderlike wings in order to take the seed far from the parent plant. The jungle trees which thrive on the slopes of the volcano, which threatens the future of the village, have developed a way of growing a leaf-balloon which is carried aloft by embers of hot lava.

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