Reviews for
Was a Time When
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My book has been reviewed by several well-placed reviewers as well as others who read and wanted to comment on the book.

Professionals who have commented on the book are:

CW of the Crash_Watcher blog who took time out from his normal reporting to devote one of his posts to this review on January 24, 2012. He contrasted my thesis of the Great Collapse with that of Jim Kunstler in his novels.

On March 7, 2012, the San Francisco Book Review published a sponsored review that concludes with the statement, "With a solid timeline and a keen eye toward cause-and-effect, Penny paints an intriguing picture, not of What Might Have Been, but more of What Probably Will Be."

Frank Kaminski of Mud City Press published his review of the book on June 29, 2012, in conjunction with Energy Bulletin. He puts my book into great company with his statement, "This story follows a long and heady line of speculative writings about the future of human evolution. An early entrant in this tradition was H.G. Wells’ classic 'The Man of the Year Million' ..."



Other who have read and commented on the book include those  below. When the review comes from Amazon, this is noted. Others were private emails.
ZoAnn Lapinsky posted December 29, 2011, in Amazon, "Sam Penny is a visionary and a thinker -- he has given us a look at a likely scenario of our future, and it doesn't look like fun. He considers all aspects of our lives, from mother nature, to economics, to technology, and paints a picture of human existence when all these factors start to spiral away into decay. And his version of the future does not at all seem unlikely. A very interesting read, indeed.

J. Dykstra posted May 12, 2012, in Amazon, "This book is something of a post-apocalyptic story about life after a collapse of civilization due to energy depletion and global warming. The author is something of a geology and disaster aficionado who has written a couple of interesting novels about a fictional earthquake on the New Madrid fault. He is retired and travels around the country in an RV trying to live a sustainable lifestyle.

This book is a story within a story. The story is about a group of future archaeologists from 1000 years in the future. They are supposedly from a new species of humans who have developed sustainable living in the area around Hudson Bay but do not have advanced technology. They are on a trip to the Oregon coast to investigate the history of a great collapse that happened in the 20th century. Some of them believe that the ancestor who founded their tribe came from the area. Near the beginning of the book, a student discovers a case of computer disks containing the memoirs of the guy they are looking for. Each chapter starts with a brief description of the expedition's events for the day followed by a lengthy listening of the memoirs. The memoirs follow the life of a guy named Sam Hardy who was born in 2015 and lived more than 85 years. Along the way, he witnessed the collapse of modern civilization due to a scarcity of energy and the effects of global warming.

Of course any book like this is going to be speculative. This particular take on a collapse of society is basically a laundry list of all the author's favorite topics as well as all of the usual disaster suspects except for an eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera. In addition to shortages of oil and the effects of climate change, the US suffers major earthquakes in New Madrid and the Cascadia fault, a killer hurricane that floods New York, a solar flare that knocks out all satellite communications, a couple of pandemics and a number of significant floods. Are these possible? Maybe. Many things can happen over the course of 100 years. The thing that strikes me a bit off is the timing of major trends. It seems to me that the breakdown of society was a bit more fast and comprehensive than one would expect while at the same time, the evolution of a new species and the loss of technology and memory was bit more than extensive than one would expect in just 1000 years. In any case, the point of the book isn't necessarily to give an accurate prediction of what will happen, but rather a vivid picture of the kinds of things that could happen as well as some suggestions of what we should try to do in order to avoid catastrophes.

If you like disaster stories or post-apocalyptic fiction, you will probably like this book. I found it to be a real page turner. With a book like this you have to set aside the desire to nitpick details and enjoy the story for what it is."

Lynne emailed me on December 29, 2012, and said, "Sam Congrats!
As I told you before . . . as I read through it, I found myself getting more and more agitated but driven to find the final outcome. I began to wonder why I was reacting the way I was and that resulted in my becoming rather introspective. I think that I have seen enough progress to doubt if we would annihilate our civilization to the extent you express in the book.  Having said that, I now find myself listening to the news with a very different ear! Thanks you for the opportunity for a good read.

Noel emailed me on January 22, 2012, and said, "Friday night I neglected to tell you how 

much I appreciated your book. You raise so many interesting and important questions and

speculations. People should read it. It gets you thinking of just what comes next -

not that I expect to find out. When was the bottle neck? Any mutations to carry us through?"