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Ill Wind [Mass Market Paperback]

Kevin J. Anderson , Doug Beason
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Dec 28 2010
It’s the largest oil spill in history: a crashed supertanker in San Francisco Bay. Desperate to avert environmental damage—and a PR disaster—the multinational oil company releases an untested “designer microbe” to break up the spill.

An “oil-eating” microbe, designed to consume anything made of petrocarbons: oil, gasoline, synthetic fabrics, and of course plastic.

What the company doesn’t realize is that their microbe propagates through the air. But when every car in the Bay Area turns up with an empty gas tank, they begin to suspect something is terribly wrong.

And when, in just a few days, every piece of plastic in the world has dissolved, it’s too late...

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A promising disaster scenario fizzles as Anderson and Beason (coauthors of Assemblers of Infinity and The Trinity Paradox) succumb to lightweight plotting, facile characterization and an apparent need to allude to as many pop-cultural artifacts as possible. When a panicky oil company tries to clean up a major spill in San Francisco Bay by dropping genetically engineered oil-eating microbes on it, the little organisms go berserk and start devouring most of the world's long-chain polycarbons (gasoline, plastics, etc.). Within the first 150 pages, this leads to a breakdown of communications and information-processing systems. From there until the end of the novel, however, affairs are basically limited to several displays of plucky ingenuity (during which one character compares the work of his group, unfavorably, to that of the Professor on Gilligan's Island). Meanwhile, an acting president and a general, independently, attempt to enforce martial law on an unwilling populace. The heroes are heroic, especially scientist Spencer Lockwood and pilots Billy Carron and Todd Severyn (the latter atoning for having unwittingly dropped the petrol-eating organism in the first place). Todd's girlfriend, Iris Shikozu, stages a post-apocalyptic rock concert at the Altamont Speedway. Almost all the chapter headings are titles of old pop songs, books or movies (Good Vibrations, The Stand, Urban Cowboy). It's possible that those who care, as Iris does, about Kansas's live comeback album will find this fascinating, but most readers are likely to feel that The End of the World As We Know It deserves better handling.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Two best-selling authors team up to confront a biotechnological catastrophe.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating concept but ultimately falls flat. June 15 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Imagine a world in which petroleum products suddenly disappeared, along with all the machines and gadgets that use them. This would include gasoline, oil, and all plastics. That's the premise of this imaginative novel. It's just a shame that the authors couldn't quite flesh it out. It's an unusual techno-thriller in that there's virtually nothing military about it, which was refreshing. However, Ill Wind suffers from a typical failing of techno-thrillers, cardboard cut-out characters and painfully stilted dialogue, especially between men and women. It seems as if the authors learned their dramatic skills from watching canned television mini-series rather than reading real literature. The concept is enough to get you about halfway through the book, but then it just gets tedious and you find yourself praying for a nuclear war to just put an end to the whole thing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's an Ill Wind that doesn't blow some good April 6 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
That seems to be true of this book as well. Ill Wind is the story of the chaos that results when a tailored microorganism destroys the world's petrochemical products. I found the descriptions of the collapse of civilization to be interesting, but found the scientific basis not quite believable. The jump from an organism that just destroys octane to an organism that destroys all oil- and plastic-based products is just too great.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed the book. Other reviewers have mentioned that it follows the standard "disaster format" of multiple characters and plotlines, but this works for me. I found each of the characters to be engaging (with the possible exception of Connor Brooks, who was just too whiney for belief).
I admit that I initially picked up this book because I enjoy biotech thrillers, but I'm glad I did.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Oil-eating Bug Dissolves Plastic Characters June 9 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The authors explore our society's dependence on petroleum-based products and the danger of relying on technological fixes for our every crisis. Also, they take a shot at the power mongers who would likely rise to the occasion given the circumstances. Unfortunately, the descriptions and characterizations aren't up to the ideas behind the story. There are too many characters whose motivations were unknown to me; more time should have been spent developing them--instead, I followed the antics of numerous characters with whom I never really got comfortable and, in the end, never really cared about
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
The opening pages, wherein an oil tanker collides with one of the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge and spills tons of crude into the San Francisco Bay, are pure suspense and realistic action. Sadly the multiple stories that follow are standard disaster thriller filler. The novel is far from boring, it's just that it suffers from the same problems with contrivance and characterization that plague other 'cast of thousands' disaster epics. This is strictly for those that can't stop themselves from watching The Poseidon Adventure or The Towering Inferno whenever it pops up on cable.
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As a kid who grew up on Kevin J Anderson and Rebecca Moesta’s Young Jedi knights Series and a disciple of Post-Apocalypse fiction I had high hopes for Ill Wind which fell flat almost immediately. This book gets bogged down quickly by uninteresting characters to much description of an ecological disaster from too many points of view, and basically no story to speak of. Period. There is nothing but a premise and filler. This is a boring book that I would not read again nor recommend to anyone else who actually want to read good literature.
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