Descendants of Power, The One Percent on Mars

In P.N. Shafa’s near future dystopia Descendants of Power, the 1% flee to Mars, leaving behind a ravaged climate and starving post-apocalyptic survivors.

But on Mars, the colonists continue with business as usual, i.e. predatory capitalism, the usual “how much can I get for myself” mentality. And turns out, that ethos doesn’t work well in an incredibly fragile situation like living in an oxygen bubble and eating off a slim range of genetically modified foodstuffs. Go figure.Back on Earth, the going is tough, especially for confused techie, Finbar, who’d followed all the rules but was left behind – Bo, a refugee Nigerian hydrologist – and later, an alienated toxin-mutated orphan named Sai.

But on Earth, finally, the survivors learn. And they learn lessons that’ve been slapping us in the face since the modern era. And some of the author’s solutions are favourites of mine, such as direct democracy, participation required, a ‘no one left behind’ ethos, inclusivity, kindness. I’d love it if we could learn these lessons before the dystopia is upon us.

I keep hoping.

And I hope people read and enjoy this novel. The prose, editing and layout are top quality. Readers who enjoy multigenerational sagas will feel at home as the novel spans many generations. Because of the scope, the author presents some characters in more detail than others, depending on the action in a particular timeframe. But rich detail makes the characters feel distinct and come to life.

She needs to concentrate on keeping her emotions down. Below her neck. Below her chest. Keep them tucked in the box she keeps inside her left kidney, to be peed out at a solitary, appropriate moment.

Excellent first novel. I’m looking forward to more from this author.

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