Stay tuned below for a review and excerpt of Population Zero!
Author: Fran Lewis
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Released: June 16, 2021
Received: Blog Tour
Population Zero, written by Fran Lewis, is a world that feels uncomfortably familiar. That is because it is our own – set in a future of Lewis’ imagining, where humans meet their (possibly likely) ending.
Close your eyes and try to imagine what the worst-case scenario would look like for this world. Or, if you prefer, pick Population Zero, as Fran Lewis strives to do the same thing.
“I am an ethereal being that is not alive but has been chosen by those above to help you, the humans, understand what is going to happen if you do not work together, follow the guidelines of the virus, and learn to live in harmony.”
As that one pull quote might indicate, one of the endings Lewis imagines involves a very real virus – one we’re all too familiar with. Written during COVID-19 times, this novella hits hard. Yet that was the entire point of that story and this book.
I’d like to point out that I actually really appreciate what Lewis is trying to do here. There’s something shockingly beautiful about the message woven within all the horror and trauma – that we can (and need to) do better.
I’m choosing to hold onto that hope with both hands and ideally never let go. Still, I wouldn’t go into this book expecting a light read, as it is anything but. While it is a mere 76 pages (by my count), each and every one of those pages will work hard to hit you right in the feels – and teach us all a lesson.
Thanks to Atmosphere Press and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.
My name is Ella, and I will be your guide and voice as you take the journey with me into the future. I am an ethereal being that is not alive but has been chosen by those above to help you, the humans, understand what is going to happen if you do not work together, follow the guidelines for the virus, and learn to live in harmony.
Remember, these worlds are the imagination of the author, and she wants you to really think about what she has created. You can decide if you would want to live in any of the worlds she imagined in her mind. What if you were asked to be the only human to experience one of these worlds if you could travel back for a short while? Welcome to your future. Think about it and decide.
Sometimes I think the world would be better off without humans. For many reasons in the worlds created, people fled and abandoned their homes. Desert areas became common, providing people with the sand, the hot sun, and not even a trace of water. Recent scenes show nuclear exclusion zones, urban neighborhoods burned out, and nowhere to escape.
Think about this: A forest so dense and so filled with trees that you cannot see anything but darkness. The smell of the dead leaves, the creatures that lived there, and the stench they created are worse than the smoke from a five-alarm fire. Imagine a sandstorm that plows across a highway and darkens the daylight sky, making it hard for drivers to see even an inch in front of them.
Smashed windows and abandoned satellite dishes and blocks of plaster all over the ground. The world — Population Zero…a look into the future.
What if this really does happen?
Excerpt from Population Zero by Fran Lewis. Copyright 2021 by Fran Lewis. Reproduced with permission from Fran Lewis. All rights reserved.