Good Reading : October 2016
COFFEE TABLE 2 FUTURE CREATURES It’s the 23rd century, and all the direst warnings from the 21st-century doomsayers about environmental destruction have been realised. Our planet no longer supports wildlife, which all died off long ago. But the corporations that once polluted and ruined the planet have tried to make amends by creating new mechanical creatures to replace the old familiar biological ones. In many ways these new animals resemble the flesh-and-blood birds, snakes, butterflies and bats of centur ies past. But look a little closer and you’ll see the wires, cylinders and light-emitting diodes that make up these intriguing contraption creatures. The animals go rogue, however. Mechanica by Lance Balchin is published by The Five Mile Press, rrp $24.95. GOOD READING OCTOBER 2016 59 They break out en masse and run rampant, free of human control, evolving into a new kind of wildlife. Mechanica details the mechanical anatomy of these steampunk creatures, from atomic-powered dragonflies and radioactive bees to bats with wings wrought from leather and wire, and 10-foot snakes powered by churning gears. Introduced to us by the old-world script and retro illustrations of fictional explorer Liberty Crisp, this alternative imagining of future creatures is fascinating and unsettling.