reviewed Seeds for the Swarm by Sim Kern

Sim Kern: Seeds for the Swarm (2023, Stelliform Press) 4 stars

Rylla McCracken dreams of escaping her family's trailer in the Dust States to go to …


4 stars

Rylla is kind of the worst, but in like, a way that I think may be intentional. She's on a journey like Candide, and similarly you spend most of the book thinking "No! You dumbass, what are you doing?!", etc. All the other characters mostly introduce and weigh the merits of tons of different solutions to the earth dying, but I think you can really tell which ones get the book's stamp of approval. I think the author of this and the authors of Half Earth Socialism would get in a fight, because this book seems to lean into banking on ridiculous tech "solutions" that probably will never materialize and might easily cause more harm than good. But I don't know nothing about nothing, so maybe I read into it wrong.

EDIT: I thought about it and I think I was wrong. The primitivists were a valid critique and the wastrels were the steelman version of that take on the apocalypse. And the book is very critical of tech solutions actually.