ARK by Stephen Baxter

This is the sequel to The Flood.   And no, Noah does not appear in the story.  The Ark turns out to be a spaceship, being built concurrently to the time we visit in The Flood.

Our world ended in 2052, the year the last great flood finally overwhelmed the lands.

A desperate bid for survival began in America, in the years before the end. The project which could be our final act could also be an impossible dream: creating a starship to take a few hundred survivors on an epic journey to a new world.

As the waters rise, as savage wars are fought over the remaining high ground, the work goes on. Those who will live, of the billions who will die, are chosen. Families are torn apart and the resources of our drowning world are marshalled for one last gamble.

Ark is the story of three women, Grace, Venus and Holle, and their part in humanity’s struggle to reach a new home. For the few survivors, the day of the launch will be only the beginning of the nightmare.

The space voyage to Earth 2, takes decades.  As the people on board deal with the years enclosed in what is basically a tin can, they eventually divide into three factions.  Arrival at the new planet finds it to be unsuitable for life there, and there is great infighting over whether to go on to another planet they have discovered while on route, or to try to populate the planet in hand, or to return to earth.  They end up splitting into three groups, one group is shuttled to the planet, one goes on to the new discovery, another 30 years in flight, and the third group returns to Earth to find that what they had hoped would be a planet with receding waters and a growing available landmass, to be a planet completely under water.

More descriptions of a drowning world, of what becomes of humanity as it tries to continue to survive, and what happens when you have an elite group who can escape, leaving everyone else to their fate.

Again, loved this book.  And not just because I am easy to please, (although there is that), but because it really works on your imagination.


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