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Mark Stewart looks at the world and our place in it from unusual standpoints.  His deeply moving stories, at once poetic and analytic, take the reader on a reflective journey through space and time, making us step back from the world we think we know and see it afresh through the unclouded eyes of an outsider.  He writes beautifully and elegiacally, in wonder at what we humans have been given by nature, and in sorrow for how recklessly we gamble our fragile inheritance.”

 

Ronald Wright

Author of A Scientific Romance and A Short History of Progress  

 

London 2025: Dispatches from the near future: In the tradition of Richard Jeffries After London and Ronald Wright’s A Scientific Romance, The Quiet Limits of the World is the story of the end of human civilisation on a planet  overcome by climate change, pollution and run-away population growth, as seen through the eyes of one man living out the end of days in an ordinary suburban house.

 

This is speculative literary fiction interwoven with a very human story. The novel is divided into three parts, each describing, in a series of diary entries, the effects of severe climate change over the course of twelve months.

 

A year from now London's polluted air has become so harmful that a state of emergency has been declared. Toxic emissions, combined with a chemical fog rising from the Thames, are making the city uninhabitable. This is part one of the novel. Part two describes the effect of a severe drought, and part three the start of a new ice age. Much of the drama comes from the way the protagonist’s life changes, and the way in which he becomes increasingly isolated, with each new phase of climate change. 

 

The final part of the novel is also an extended love letter, or canticle, to the main character's late wife.