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The Ellipses Blog . . .

Everything you don't know about editing but are afraid to ask*

*And some other helpful stuff, too

  • Writer's pictureJennifer Walker

The Death of Grass, by John Christopher

Jennifer Walker freelance editor

Originally published in 1956, The Death of Grass remains a relevant and insightful page-turner; having read this in early 2021, with Covid-19 wreaking havoc on the planet, I found it especially compelling.

A virus that originates in China slowly makes its way around the world. No one seems all that concerned about it until it hits the "civilized" world - the UK. But this virus isn't killing people - it's killing plants. Specifically, its killing plants like rice and wheat, wiping out all the grains the world relies on for food.

The trappings of that civilized world fall away with shocking rapidity and the UK is quite suddenly a medieval-feeling place permeated by a kill-or-be-killed mentality. Our main character is on a mission to get his family from London to presumed safety at his brother's rural valley farm.

The key issue isn't so much "will he make it there or not?" but "in what ways will he and his family be forced to change in order to get there?"

Highly recommend. Bonus - it's pretty short, especially for this genre

Publication date: 1956

Not part of a series, but John Christopher has written quite a few end-of-the-world books.

The first step to writing a terrific post-apocalyptic novel is reading what is already out there in the genre. Once you've written your own and are ready for an editor and/or proofreader, I'd be honored to read your work. Together we will make your book shine!

Jennifer Walker freelance proofreader


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