Posted by : atcampbell | On : July 21, 1998

Overshoot by Mona Clee

EIght people showed up for the discussion, including three newcomers. One regular member couldn’t attend in person due to missing her bus, but she telephoned in during the meeting to give her comments.

Overshoot is a near-future science fiction novel set on an Earth where abuse of the environment has triggered the Greenhouse Effect, producing dramatic weather and climate fluctuations that threaten the survival of the human race. The story is told by an aging lawyer living in San Francisco, interweaving events in the near-future “present” with flashbacks to her life and the events that led to the current situation.

We all found the book to be very readable and a compelling page-turner. We liked the story structure and found the characters interesting and believable. The story was more interesting than the post apocalyptic techno-thriller most of us expected from the cover. Clee did a good job of presenting her pro-environment arguments without being too heavy-handed.

There were drawbacks. Some felt that the expository lumps dragged. Others felt cheated by the non-technical narrator, since many of the technological problems and solutions presented in the book went unexplained. Since the protagonist only has a minor impact on the path of major events, we felt this book advances the “little man school of history”.

Overall we found this to be a good book. Its writing style and near-future situation would make it a good choice to recommend to non-SF readers.

— A. T. Campbell, III