This is the sixth book by John Lyman that I have read. His earlier books include four in the ‘God’s Lions’ series (The Secret Chapel, The Dark Ruin, House of Acerbi and Realm of Evil), and ‘The Deep Green’. I have enjoyed all these books and recommend them. ‘God’s Lions: The Secret Chapel’ is also being made into a film in 2016.
‘Prelude to Dystopia’ describes how a young writer/reporter, Ben Swain, is assigned to interview a leading expert on cyber terrorism, who turns out to be far more than that. In fact he represents an organisation concerned with pollution of the planet Earth (the 2050 Group), and he is a US Army General as well. He persuades Ben to sign a non-disclosure agreement and arranges to meet him again. Ben learns more about the concerns of the group that the General belongs to, and decides to try to find out more about him and the organisation he works for. His efforts to do this lead to him going on the run, accompanied by his agent’s assistant, Emily. He eventually tracks down the General and learns what the 2050 group’s aims really are. He has to make an important decision: whether to join them or not? The book describes the consequences of his decision, and what happens to the planet as a result of the 2050 Group’s actions.
I read this book in a few days and found it hard to put down. It is both exciting and spine chillingly predictive in its discussion of what might happen to our planet if the use of fossil fuels continues unchecked. Also, reading it shortly after the UN Conference on Climate Change had taken place meant that the ideas discussed in the book were very much in my mind. In short, I recommend it, and gave it 5 stars on Amazon and GoodReads.