Appleseed A novel

Matt Bell, 1980-

Book - 2021

"In the vein of Neal Stephenson and Jeff VanderMeer, an epic speculative novel from Young Lions Fiction Award-finalist Matt Bell, a breakout book that explores climate change, manifest destiny, humanity's unchecked exploitation of natural resources, and the small but powerful magic contained within every single apple"--

Saved in:

1st Floor Show me where

FICTION/Bell Matt
2 / 2 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor FICTION/Bell Matt Checked In
1st Floor FICTION/Bell, Matt Checked In
Subjects
Genres
Apocalyptic fiction
Published
New York, NY : Custom House [2021]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
465 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780063040144
006304014X
9780063040151
0063040158
Main Author
Matt Bell, 1980- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Chapman, a faun, and his human brother, Nathaniel, plant apple trees across eighteenth-century Ohio. Nathaniel dreams of progress and development while Chapman sows each seed hoping for the Tree of Forgetting, whose fruit will turn him into a man. In the near future, the habitable half of the United States is owned by tech company Earthtrust, which claims a commitment to preservation and reversing climate change. In the abandoned West, John meets up with fellow rewilders and plots the takedown of the corporation he helped found. Hundreds of years in the future, a being searches for organic matter under the ice that covers the Earth. The three story lines alternate as Bell (A Tree or a Person or a Wall, 2016) slowly unveils the particulars of each world and their surprising connections. Appleseed is a work of cli-fi that explores myth and technology and asks what progress is good for humanity. Fans of Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven (2014) or David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas (2012) will enjoy this, as will admirers of such speculative environmental fiction as Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In this sweeping narrative, NYPL Young Lions finalist Bell moves from 1700s Ohio, where two brothers plant apple orchards; to the late 21st century, when one company owning all the world's resources starts facing resistance; to the next millennium, when a tech station's lone inhabitant follows signals from a homing device in hopes of finding the last of civilization on ice-cloaked Earth. With a 75,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Bell's third novel presents itself as a breakout work: Pitched to epic scale and scope, it's a heady, metaphor-rich mash-up of fairy tale-fantasy, cli-fi, and postapocalyptic fiction. The novel is structured as three separate but entangled narratives. The first takes place at the turn of the 18th century and follows two brothers—one a man, one a faun—whose entrepreneurial pursuits find them planting apple trees across Ohio's still-wild lands. The second is set in a nightmarish near-future of the climate change-ravaged late 21st century, as an eco-terrorist "rewilder" returns to the genetic engineering monolith he helped create. The last story line is set a thousand years in the future, in a new North American ice age. The result reflects a fairly organic waypoint for Bell, combining both the mythology and dark fabulism of his first novel, In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, and the more dystopic, mechanistic texture of his follow-up, Scrapper. While Bell's writing remains rich and surprising, too much feels derivative of similar works, and the twined threads are unequally successful and fail to pull together with much punch. VERDICT Loaded with ideas and often poignant in its ruminations, but also languorous and merely expository; there's certainly no denying Bell's ambition, but this work simply fails to take root.—Luke Gorham, Galesburg P.L., IL Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Bell (In the House upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods) delivers a stirring take on climate change, complicity, and human connection. In separate narratives set centuries apart, three characters struggle to remain true to themselves in hostile worlds. In 18th-century Ohio, Chapman, a faun, wanders the wilderness with his human brother, planting apple trees that will feed future settlers and may someday grow the fruit Chapman hopes will make him fully human. In a postapocalyptic late 21st-century North America, a man named John confronts his role in the creation of the corporation that controls the world's food supply, and plots to tear down the system. A thousand years from now, in an icy wasteland, humanoid C follows the directive of his previous iterations: find enough biomass beneath an endless glacier to regenerate life. An accident surfaces long-forgotten instructions, leading C across the ice to what may be humanity's last stronghold. While each character's situation appears bleak, the voices in this powerful tale continually seek something beyond the imperfection of human stewardship, as when John contemplates his complicity: "there's no crime in being born into a harmful story but surely there's sin in not trying to escape." This is an excellent addition to the climate apocalypse subgenre, and the way it grapples with humanity's dramatic influence on the planet feels fresh and bracing. Agent: Kirby Kim, Janklow & Nesbit. (June) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"In the vein of Neal Stephenson and Jeff VanderMeer, an epic speculative novel from Young Lions Fiction Award-finalist Matt Bell, a breakout book that explores climate change, manifest destiny, humanity's unchecked exploitation of natural resources, and the small but powerful magic contained within every single apple"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Two supernatural brothers who plant an apple orchard in eighteenth-century Ohio reel from the unforeseen circumstances after climate change ravages the earth and centuries later leaves the company they founded unfairly owning all the world’s resources . 75,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"Woven together out of the strands of myth, science fiction, and ecological warning, Matt Bell's Appleseed is as urgent as it is audacious." --Kelly Link, Get in TroubleA "work of incandescent imagination" (Karen Russell) from Young Lions Fiction Award'finalist Matt Bell, a breakout book that explores climate change, manifest destiny, humanity's unchecked exploitation of natural resources, and the small but powerful magic contained within every single apple. In eighteenth-century Ohio, two brothers travel into the wooded frontier, planting apple orchards from which they plan to profit in the years to come. As they remake the wilderness in their own image, planning for a future of settlement and civilization, the long-held bonds and secrets between the two will be tested, fractured and broken'and possibly healed. Fifty years from now, in the second half of the twenty-first century, climate change has ravaged the Earth. Having invested early in genetic engineering and food science, one company now owns all the world's resources. But a growing resistance is working to redistribute both land and power'and in a pivotal moment for the future of humanity, one of the company's original founders will return to headquarters, intending to destroy what he helped build. A thousand years in the future, North America is covered by a massive sheet of ice. One lonely sentient being inhabits a tech station on top of the glacier'and in a daring and seemingly impossible quest, sets out to follow a homing beacon across the continent in the hopes of discovering the last remnant of civilization. Hugely ambitious in scope and theme, Appleseed is the breakout novel from a writer 'as self-assured as he is audacious' (NPR) who 'may well have invented the pulse-pounding novel of ideas' (Jess Walter). Part speculative epic, part tech thriller, part reinvented fairy tale, Appleseed is an unforgettable meditation on climate change; corporate, civic, and familial responsibility; manifest destiny; and the myths and legends that sustain us all. 

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK · A PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER BEST OF THE YEAR“Woven together out of the strands of myth, science fiction, and ecological warning, Matt Bell’s Appleseed is as urgent as it is audacious.” —Kelly Link, Pulitzer Prize finalist and national bestselling author of Get in TroubleA “breathtaking novel of ideas unlike anything you’ve ever read” (Esquire) from Young Lions Fiction Award–finalist Matt Bell, a breakout book that explores climate change, manifest destiny, humanity’s unchecked exploitation of natural resources, and the small but powerful magic contained within every single apple. In eighteenth-century Ohio, two brothers travel into the wooded frontier, planting apple orchards from which they plan to profit in the years to come. As they remake the wilderness in their own image, planning for a future of settlement and civilization, the long-held bonds and secrets between the two will be tested, fractured and broken—and possibly healed.Fifty years from now, in the second half of the twenty-first century, climate change has ravaged the Earth. Having invested early in genetic engineering and food science, one company now owns all the world’s resources. But a growing resistance is working to redistribute both land and power—and in a pivotal moment for the future of humanity, one of the company’s original founders will return to headquarters, intending to destroy what he helped build.A thousand years in the future, North America is covered by a massive sheet of ice. One lonely sentient being inhabits a tech station on top of the glacier—and in a daring and seemingly impossible quest, sets out to follow a homing beacon across the continent in the hopes of discovering the last remnant of civilization.Hugely ambitious in scope and theme, Appleseed is the breakout novel from a writer “as self-assured as he is audacious” (NPR) who “may well have invented the pulse-pounding novel of ideas” (Jess Walter). Part speculative epic, part tech thriller, part reinvented fairy tale, Appleseed is an unforgettable meditation on climate change; corporate, civic, and familial responsibility; manifest destiny; and the myths and legends that sustain us all.