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How Dale Pendell Risks by Depicting a Positive Future in The Great Bay

Dale Pendell’s The Great Bay: Chronicles of the Collapse presents a speculative view into events that happen after a global flu pandemic in 2021 that eliminates most of the human population in the world. It follows the geological, ecological, and climatic transformations that California goes through during the 14 millennia from 2021 to 16000. Von Mossner reports, “Covering the time span from 2021 to 16000 N.C., Dale Pendell’s speculative novel The Great Bay chronicles the profound climatic, geological and ecological transformations that California undergoes during these fourteen millennia” (Von Mossner, P. 203). Due to climate change and global warming, the sea level has risen and covered most of the place and made a bay that gives the novel its title. Pendell addresses the small scale of human life by compiling texts based on individual human accounts with a geographical focus in consideration as they contemplate what to do and what not to do. Von Mossner writes, “Human life becomes unimaginably small on such a time scale” (Von Mossner, P. 203). The author’s approach differs from that in many other novels, in which the end of the world is presented from a negative perspective. However, Pendell does not risk his book being dismissed as fantasy because of this approach which does not merely present a naïve idea of a cohesive post-apocalyptic society but instead gives a rationale for it. Instead, he considers all factors that will contribute to the portrayed post-apocalyptic human interactions. Mertens describes The Great Bay as a novel that uses new innovative techniques to depict a wide-scale event. Mertens writes, “It requires new and innovative techniques of storytelling” (Mertens, p. 9). It is possible to use evidence from critical references Pendell’s book to justify these arguments.