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Science-Fiction Post-Apocalyptic Sentient Rain?

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1titianscrivener
Edited: Aug 6, 2016, 8:38pm Top

There's a book I'm trying to recall the name of, but I can't think of it for the life of me. I'm afraid I don't know when it was written, or who wrote it either, because I read an excerpt online.

I do remember, vaguely, what the excerpt was about.

It involved a couple of people (I'm thinking an older and younger man) picking their way across what I think was a flooded parking-lot, and, in the distance, they could see the ruins of the city, which is where they were headed.

I got the feeling that the two had only just met up on their journey, and the older guy wanted to get the younger one out of his hair as soon as possible. He grudgingly helped him, as the younger person didn't seem to realise the dangers around them.

If I'm remembering correctly, they were trying to survive in a post alien-apocalyptic world, something involving sentient rain or organisms within the rain. They had to jump from roofs of cars and other things, and the man warned the other guy not to fall in the water.

At one point, the younger guy either drops, kicks, or otherwise knocks something into the water, and it starts to glow rainbow colours, the way oil does on water. The guy leans in closer, trying to see what's causing it, and the older man grabs him, pulling him away, and telling him to stay away from the water. Something about it being dangerous, but the guy can't see anything aside from the colours.

The man describes the alien invasion, but the aliens weren't what anyone expected, they were in the water, etc. and I think the young guy is sceptical.

I don't know if they caused people to become zombies or what, because that's all that was in the excerpt.

I know this is terribly vague, but if anyone recoginises this, or can find it, that'd be great!

Thanks, and God bless!

2RowanTribe
Aug 4, 2016, 5:58pm Top

It is just a fragment, but you were very clear and descriptive. It doesn't ring any bells with me, but we have several members who are avid SF readers, and it might very well be something they recognize.

Good luck! It sounds very interesting!

3titianscrivener
Aug 4, 2016, 11:13pm Top

Thank you! I hope so, it's been driving me loony. :)

4Darth-Heather
Aug 5, 2016, 11:34am Top

Rings no bells for me, but now I kinda want to find it too :)

5titianscrivener
Aug 6, 2016, 6:16pm Top

Lol Now you know my dilemma. :')

6mrmapcase
Aug 6, 2016, 7:59pm Top

Maybe Truth and Fear by Peter Higgins?

Peter Higgins' Vlast is a superbly imagined 'other' Russia, an epic land of trackless forest, sentient rain and deep powers in the Earth. Its capital Mirgorod is home both to a brutal dictatorship centuries old and fleeting glimpses of the houses and streets of another city. Compared to the works of of both China Mieville and John Le Carre Wolfhound Century was a hugely original creation. Now Peter Higgins returns to that world. Investigator Lom returns to Mirgorod and finds the city in the throes of a crisis. The war against the Archipelago is not going well. Enemy divisions are massing outside the city, air-raids are a daily occurrance and the citizens are being conscripted into the desperate defence of the city. But Lom has other concerns. The police are after him, the mystery of the otherworldly Pollandore remains and the vast Angel is moving, turning all of nature against the city. But will the horrors of war overtake all their plans?

7titianscrivener
Aug 6, 2016, 9:03pm Top

I...hmmm...I don't think so.

I considered the "The Wolfhound Century", but the excerpt I read didn't seem to be military or war related, and I don't think the book would've been either. More like scavengers struggling to make their way to a city, maybe to reach higher ground from flooding, but also (I think) in the hopes of finding supplies.

It was closer in feel to the zombie or plague-apocalypse genre than the post-war-apocalypse one, and I got the sense that it might be set in America, but I can't recall any character names, so I'm not 100% sure.

I read the first few chapters of "Truth and Fear", just in case, and they don't ring a bell.

I think the excerpt I read was the first chapter, and it started with two men climbing through a flooded parking-lot or maybe just a flooded street (they were climbing on cars and other debris), talking to each other, and the main character wasn't pleased to have a companion. I think he found the guy annoying, or naive, though he may have just been a loner...not wanting to have an extra mouth to feed, etc.

Also, I want to say that there was a huge wall built around the city-limits with a vast, wild forest looming over it (and I think the main character was wary of the forest, wary from experience, not from rumours), and areas that were flooded were becoming mini biomes or something...

The main guy was definitely the well-seasoned type. I seem to recall that the companion he was reluctant to have was surprised by his agility and stamina, so he was possibly in his 60s or so (or he may have been aged by what he'd had to go through).

I also considered something by the Strugatsky Brothers (it seemed like it had their mark on it...), and "Roadside Picnic" seemed most promising, but I haven't gotten around to checking it out. Plus, their works in general seem to be ridiculously hard to find, which makes me doubt that it would've been one of theirs.

I'm sorry. :(

8bluepiano
Edited: Aug 7, 2016, 5:16am Top

It's definitely not Roadside Picnic, but it & several others by Strugatskys are available here: http://www.bookdepository.com/search?searchTerm=arkady%20and%20boris%20strugatsk....

9titianscrivener
Aug 7, 2016, 7:21pm Top

Ohhhh, thank you!

I didn't think it was, but I felt like something they could've written. :) (I love Russian writers!!)

10titianscrivener
Aug 9, 2016, 9:26pm Top

Anybody else? lol

11titianscrivener
Aug 13, 2016, 6:28pm Top

Anybody? :')

122wonderY
Aug 15, 2016, 5:04pm Top

Reminds me a little bit of Spider Robinson's Telempath. His aliens are not alien to the planet, but are upper atmosphere plasmoids. The two main characters, a younger and an older man do have a confrontation with each other and with the plasmoids on the deserted campus of Columbia University.

See the Wikipedia article for more clarity than LT CK: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telempath

13titianscrivener
Aug 16, 2016, 12:16am Top

I'll check it out and let you know. :) Maybe I can find an excerpt that rings a bell.

14titianscrivener
Aug 16, 2016, 5:18pm Top

Definitely not "Telempath". Thank you though.

15titianscrivener
Aug 24, 2016, 6:51pm Top

Still open to ideas. :)

16titianscrivener
Aug 26, 2016, 5:43am Top

I think I read the excerpt in about 2011, if that helps.

17titianscrivener
Aug 30, 2016, 10:52pm Top

I'm still not having any luck. :(

18bluepiano
Sep 2, 2016, 10:58am Top

By all means if you find the title elsewhere in the meantime let us know what it is. I can't be the only one who's curious about it.

19titianscrivener
Sep 4, 2016, 2:41pm Top

I will. Still no luck, but I'm ever hopeful.

20indybr12
Sep 8, 2016, 11:45am Top

The Taking by Dean Koontz is an end-of-the-world thriller with an eerie rain. I haven't read it so I don't know if it contains the scenes you are describing.

21titianscrivener
Sep 9, 2016, 10:19pm Top

I don't believe there were any female characters in the book, at least, not in the excerpt I read. It was focused around two guys, while "The Taking" is about a woman and her husband. It definitely sounds interesting though! :)

Thank you!

22titianscrivener
Sep 17, 2016, 5:11pm Top

Just going to bump this post up. :)

23titianscrivener
Oct 1, 2016, 8:25pm Top

This is just a repost of my previous replies so that future commenters don't have to scroll so far. :)

There's a book I'm trying to recall the name of, but I can't think of it for the life of me. I'm afraid I don't know when it was written, or who wrote it either, because I read an excerpt online.

I do remember, vaguely, what the excerpt was about.

It involved a couple of people (I'm thinking an older and younger man) picking their way across what I think was a flooded parking-lot, and, in the distance, they could see the ruins of the city, which is where they were headed.

I got the feeling that the two had only just met up on their journey, and the older guy wanted to get the younger one out of his hair as soon as possible. He grudgingly helped him, as the younger person didn't seem to realise the dangers around them.

If I'm remembering correctly, they were trying to survive in a post alien-apocalyptic world, something involving sentient rain or organisms within the rain. They had to jump from roofs of cars and other things, and the man warned the other guy not to fall in the water.

At one point, the younger guy either drops, kicks, or otherwise knocks something into the water, and it starts to glow rainbow colours, the way oil does on water. The guy leans in closer, trying to see what's causing it, and the older man grabs him, pulling him away, and telling him to stay away from the water. Something about it being dangerous, but the guy can't see anything aside from the colours.

The man describes the alien invasion, but the aliens weren't what anyone expected, they were in the water, etc. and I think the young guy is sceptical.

I don't know if they caused people to become zombies or what, because that's all that was in the excerpt.

I considered the "The Wolfhound Century", but the excerpt from the book I'm looking for didn't seem to be military or war related, and I don't think the book would've been either. More like scavengers struggling to make their way to a city, maybe to reach higher ground from flooding, but also (I think) in the hopes of finding supplies.

It was closer in feel to the zombie or plague-apocalypse genre than the post-war-apocalypse one, and I got the sense that it might be set in America, but I can't recall any character names, so I'm not 100% sure.

I read the first few chapters of "Truth and Fear", just in case, and they don't ring a bell.

I think the excerpt I read was the first chapter, and it started with two men climbing through a flooded parking-lot or maybe just a flooded street (they were climbing on cars and other debris), talking to each other, and the main character wasn't pleased to have a companion. I think he found the guy annoying, or naive, though he may have just been a loner...not wanting to have an extra mouth to feed, etc.

Also, I want to say that there was a huge wall built around the city-limits with a vast, wild forest looming over it (and I think the main character was wary of the forest, wary from experience, not from rumours), and areas that were flooded were becoming mini biomes or something...

The main guy was definitely the well-seasoned type. I seem to recall that the companion he was reluctant to have was surprised by his agility and stamina, so he was possibly in his 60s or so (or he may have been aged by what he'd had to go through).

I also considered something by the Strugatsky Brothers (it seemed like it had their mark on it...), and "Roadside Picnic" seemed most promising, but I haven't gotten around to checking it out. Plus, their works in general seem to be ridiculously hard to find, which makes me doubt that it would've been one of theirs.

As for the other suggestions, it definitely wasn't "Telempath" by Spider Robinson, nor was it "The Taking" by Dean Koontz.

Thanks again!!

24titianscrivener
Oct 1, 2016, 9:25pm Top

Again, I read this in about 2011 or so, maybe earlier.

I remembered some other details.

1. I'm fairly certain that whatever was in the water was described as looking like oil on water, creating a kind of rainbow effect.

2. I seem to recall that when the younger man leaned over to inspect the water that it began to whisper or sing to him in a lulling, comforting way, and he went into a trance-like state, and almost *wanted* to fall into the water. I think it whispered/sang telepathically, but I'm not sure.

3. This was just an impression I got, but I think you had to get close enough to the water for whatever was in it to affect you. I think that's part of the reason why the older man was so eager to leave as quickly and carefully as possible, and I seem to recall that he stopped the younger man from falling rather gingerly, either as though that were too close to the water for his comfort, or he thought the young man might be infected by the trance or something.

I have no idea what would've happened if the young man had fallen in, it's even possible that the water was highly radioactive...

I'm truly sorry that I can't be more helpful! Some of my memories of this excerpt are vague and muddled, while others are clear as day. :(

25bluepiano
Oct 4, 2016, 5:07pm Top

Ah bless. Every now & again when this thread shows on my home page I try new terms for googling this book. I think that on home page for this group there's a link to the LT wiki which in turn gives links to other places to enquire--have you tried those?

26titianscrivener
Oct 5, 2016, 11:30pm Top

I've tried a few sites, yes. :/ Thank you for replying though! It's nice to have a little company on this lonely thread. lol

27titianscrivener
Oct 16, 2016, 6:11pm Top

Just going to bump this thread up again. :)

28bluepiano
Oct 17, 2016, 3:04pm Top

Ach you're so forlorn here. Have you any idea when you read the excerpt? if so, would there be any point in going through history of sites you visited in that period?

29titianscrivener
Oct 20, 2016, 7:30pm Top

Yeah, I read it in about 2011. Back when I read it, I was using a different laptop, and I'm on my third laptop since then. :/

30vonshack
Oct 31, 2016, 3:19pm Top

There are some similarities to the Stephen King's short story "The Raft". Any chance that's it?

31titianscrivener
Nov 2, 2016, 5:22pm Top

Definitely not King, I'd have remembered that. Thank you though, now I want to read that, too. :)

32titianscrivener
Nov 21, 2016, 10:44pm Top

Just going to bump this up again...

33titianscrivener
Dec 10, 2016, 9:52pm Top

And again. lol

34vonshack
Edited: Dec 19, 2016, 3:12pm Top

Hi, I'm so intrigued by your clues to this book that I search for it several times a week. I found the following on another book search site, and was wondering if any of the details might also be in the book you're trying to find. If so, maybe these clues can help!

**************************************************​

Apocalyptic book about water-carried agent killing people various ways

To: All
Posted:1/21/16 8:33 PM
Msg: 34412.1(1 of 1)
View ebetsyg's profile
ebetsyg
Posts:1

I'm trying to find a book, likely from the 1990s (but I could be wrong; that's just when I read it). In one scene, someone in the book dies after grass cuts them to death (it's been made sentient and angry or something). The agent that is causing the trouble is carried in water, and evolved because of pollution (I don't remember what the agent is precisely). I do know that an image of a rainbow pollution slick on water figured predominantly, and basically *SPOILER* because rain carried the agent everywhere. Does this ring any bells?

Not much to go on, sorry!

**************************************************​

352wonderY
Dec 19, 2016, 3:30pm Top

Have you looked at Sheri S. Tepper's works? Though I haven't read many of her books, it sure sounds right up her line.

36titianscrivener
Edited: Dec 19, 2016, 8:40pm Top

That certainly sounds similar to the book I'm looking for! :) I was beginning to think I'd dreamt it. *laughs*

I can't confirm nor deny anyone dying from being cut to death by grass in the book I read because I only read the first chapter or so (or however much the excerpt contained).

37titianscrivener
Dec 19, 2016, 8:28pm Top

No, I hadn't, but I just checked out a list of her works, and nothing sounds familiar. I'll scan through them again though, just in case. Thank you. :)

38titianscrivener
Feb 7, 3:27pm Top

I've since had "The Green Rain" by Paul Tabori suggested to me, but it's definitely not that either.

39FlyingFairy
Edited: Mar 20, 7:49pm Top

40Darth-Heather
Edited: Mar 20, 7:58pm Top

OMG titianscrivener did someone FINALLY solve this mystery for you?!?!? I like Spector & Skipp books, so I hope this is the one, cuz that would be cool... :)

41FlyingFairy
Edited: Mar 21, 8:24pm Top

I should have clarified earlier: this book features ridiculously sharp grass that slices one guy to death, a nuclear reactor that can be heard singing which is described as sounding similar to a siren luring sailors to their deaths, and slimy water with an oily iridescent sheen that's infectious and deadly to the touch.

42titianscrivener
Mar 21, 9:03pm Top

I'm going to check it out!

Honestly, if this is the one, I could hug you! :D

43titianscrivener
Edited: Mar 21, 9:17pm Top

From what I've read of the preview on Amazon, it's sadly nothing like the book I read, though it sounds similar.

From what I recall, the water wasn't oily, it was merely described as having a rainbow sheen like oil on water, and it glowed when the water was disturbed. Also, it was the water itself that seemed to speak telepathically to the protagonist. I got the idea that whatever was in the water sort of hypnotised you and made you drown.

Thank you, though! This is the closest suggestion so far. :)

44FlyingFairy
Edited: Mar 22, 4:25pm Top

Sorry to bother you again, but I'm determined to find this for you.

Do you remember where you read the excerpt or anything about the title? Doesn't have to be an exact site or title, maybe just vague words or a description. Also, do you recall any dialogue or specific sentences? I can perform a search based on those small details using a myriad of sources.

I've tried using keywords from your description, and no results have matched so far. However, giving up would bother me too much, so I'm going to keep searching. Every scrap of detail helps, even if it's something that you see as insignificant.

I hope I'm not being intrusive by pressing you for more information.

45titianscrivener
Mar 22, 7:39pm Top

You're not being intrusive at all. I quite appreciate it actually; I can be rather tenacious about these things as well! :)

The only thing I clearly remember is the colour of the water being described as looking like oil on water, and I seem to remember the main protagonist telling the secondary protagonist that, "We never saw it coming" or "We never expected it", and he said something about the apocalypse being brought on by the rain. He worded it in a way that made it sound like the secondary protagonist either came from a part of the world that hadn't been affected by the apocalypse...which seems unlikely...or that the younger man was born well after the apocalypse (I got the impression the secondary protagonist was sceptical about the apocalypse having occurred).

And I think the main protagonist was hiding something about himself (which I recall is partly why he wanted to get rid of the younger guy ASAP)...immortal, infected, A.I...*sighs*...I'm not sure; the memory is too vague I'm afraid.

It wasn't acid rain, it was something living in the rain. I also didn't get the impression that the rain was caused by environmental changes or mutations, but rather that the aliens came in the rain because they knew it'd be the last thing humans would suspect. It's even possible that the rain contained alien eggs or something, but I can't say for sure.

I read the excerpt on Amazon, and all they provided was the first chapter. I don't think it was under the "Look Inside" option, but rather as an excerpt printed in the description, along with critiques and official book-reviews.

Much as I try to wrack my brain, I can't think of a title.

Sometimes I consider writing what I do remember as a short-story or novella, just to see who sues me for plagiarism. *laughs*

46bluepiano
Mar 23, 6:31pm Top

I think you must have read that in 'Look Inside'--? the book 'descriptions' there never include a full chapter & I don't remember having seen an excerpt in one of them, never mind an excerpt with so much detail, though who knows. Not that it matters; I'm just pleased to see that people are still searching for the book because I bloody well want to know what it is.

47FlyingFairy
Mar 23, 11:01pm Top

While scouring Amazon, I found The Deluge by Mark Morris. While I highly doubt this is the book you're looking for, the concept seemed similar.

The search continues.

48KennelThing
Mar 26, 10:59pm Top

How about Fungoid or The Invasion by William Meikle?

On a slightly unrelated note, a friend of mine pointed out that the synopsis of this book is awfully similar to Chubby Rain in the movie 'Bowfinger', ha ha.

49titianscrivener
Mar 29, 7:20pm Top

When I read the description on my phone, I sometimes see a full chapter in the description, not with every book though. It definitely wasn't "Look Inside" because I don't have that option on my phone, and I remember reading it on my laptop and on there as well (I was probably interrupted and wanted to finish it before bed). :)

No, it's not "The Deluge", but that looks interesting as well!

Definitely not "The Invasion" either, however, that also looks like a fun read.

50FlyingFairy
Edited: Apr 9, 5:17pm Top

I was looking at The Sundered since it features water that pulls in whoever touches it, but that book was published in 2012 and doesn't seem like a good match.

By the way, do you use the North American version of Amazon (.com) or the United Kingdom (.co.uk) site? And do you remember anything about the cover?

Sorry again for all the questions!

EDIT: Also, is it possible that you're mixing up the short story The Raft by Stephen King with another story? The creature in it resides in water and has the appearance of an oil slick, and the characters are hypnotized by its iridescent sheen and colors which makes them want to throw themselves into the water and be devoured by the creature, but realize they can break out of its hypnotic effect by looking away just in time.

51titianscrivener
Apr 14, 10:57pm Top

No, it's definitely not anything by King. I'd have remembered that. :)

As I said at the beginning of the post, I got the idea that the writer(s) is/were foreign. The style reminded me of the Strugatsky Brothers. If anything, I might be confusing parts of "Roadside Picnic" with my memory of this book.

52vonshack
Apr 21, 4:02pm Top

You wrote: "If anything, I might be confusing parts of "Roadside Picnic" with my memory of this book"

I'd suggest, then, that you take down your inquiry. Lots of people, myself included, have spent a great deal of time looking for it. It's not fair to ask people to keep looking for something that you might be confusing in your mind with other books. If that's the case, your book has probably already been mentioned several times over and you just haven't recognized it. It amounts to a wild goose chase for the rest of us.

I, for one, am done.

53lorax
Apr 21, 4:25pm Top

>52 vonshack:

I'd suggest, then, that you take down your inquiry.

That's not possible, but feel free to ignore the thread if you're "done". I always assume that the OP is misremembering at least one detail mentioned in the post, myself.

54RowanTribe
Apr 21, 4:49pm Top

Eh, it's always possible that people have conflated memories or are confused about details - doesn't make the query or the search less valid.

This one is going to be a satisfaction when/if it ever gets solved tho!

55bluepiano
Apr 21, 6:30pm Top

>52 vonshack: I'd suggest, then, that you read a bit about memory storage and, especially, retrieval. But you're right to complain of OP's attitude: It *is* unfair to begin a thread with a post that promises dire distressful harm to readers of it who are unwilling to spend a great deal of time looking for a particular book.

(I'd not given any thought to that phrase before, but now I'm wondering whether domesticated geese are markedly more tractable than wild ones--? shouldn't have thought that geese of either sort might be trained to stop running away with a command--?)

56thomson3
Apr 22, 4:25am Top

This user has been removed as spam.

57titianscrivener
Apr 24, 7:07pm Top

I haven't asked anyone to keep looking for it, and I can't express enough how much I appreciate the time and effort people have put into trying to help me.

I don't believe that I am confusing more than one book because I happen to have an eidetic memory, and I can distinctly recall what I've described reading. Unfortunately, I cannot recall the title nor the author.

I never said that I *did* confuse two books, I said that, *if* I'd confused anything, it would've been with "Roadside Picnic", however, I am certain that this book exists in the context that I have given. Besides, a previous poster has already said that nothing I've described is in "Roadside Picnic".

Had someone discovered the title that is eluding my memory, I would most *definitely* recognise it or the name(s) of the author(s), and I would let all those who have been so kind as to help me know that the search was over; I do not lead people on wild good chases. :(

If this is causing any of you trouble, wasting your time, etc. then please, feel free to abandon your search. I would neither blame you, nor think any less of you.

58titianscrivener
Apr 24, 7:11pm Top

I'm sincerely sorry to have wasted everyone's time. :'(

I'll post a message if I ever find this book.

Thank you.

~S

59morwen04
Apr 25, 11:22am Top

I don't really have any books to put forth as an option but I'd wager this isn't a Strugatsky book, although you are right in that it does hit several common themes for them... Unless you read Russian because Disquiet was never translated but was available online once upon a time.

I know you said you read this in 2011 but do you have any idea of when it was written?

60titianscrivener
Apr 25, 8:30pm Top

I do read Russian, however the book was in English. I'll have to look into "Disquiet" on the side though, it sounds interesting. :)

It wasn't a new book. I don't read many new releases, I prefer the Classics, and that extends to classic science-fiction and fantasy (Wells, Verne, Shelley, Stoker, Tolkien, Lewis, Orwell etc) and more "retro" classic authors (from the Pulp Era to the Golden Age), such as Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury, Anderson, Bujold, Norton etc.

Judging by the style of the writing, I'd say it was from the Golden Era, but I've read science-fiction and fantasy from the '80s and '90s, so I'm afraid I couldn't give an exact date...I'm sorry.

61lorax
Apr 26, 1:49pm Top

Even knowing it's not likely to be newer than the 1990s is helpful!

62titianscrivener
Apr 26, 3:04pm Top

Thank you. :)

63lorax
Apr 26, 3:06pm Top

Given its age, are you entirely sure it was a novel, rather than short fiction - maybe not a short story per se, but a novella or something?

64titianscrivener
Apr 26, 3:24pm Top

I wouldn't think it was a short-story. Its pace was rather slow, so it would've had to have been longer. *laughs* It's certainly possible that it was a novelette or novella. :)

65humouress
May 4, 1:40am Top

>34 vonshack: >36 titianscrivener: If your book does have grass in it, have you looked at Grass by Sheri S. Tepper? I haven't read it myself, so I can't confirm any other details.

66rretzler
May 4, 2:41pm Top

This book seems so familiar to me, especially the parts with the rain. But nothing in the list of books I've read seems to come to mind.

67isabelx
May 4, 5:44pm Top

>65 humouress: There's definitely no sentient grass in Grass by Sheri S. Topper. The murderous aliens in that book come in a completely different form!

68titianscrivener
May 4, 8:48pm Top

Definitely not "Grass", but I'm adding that to my to-be-read books! :D

69titianscrivener
May 4, 8:57pm Top

As I said in a previous post, I don't even know that sentient grass is involved because I only read the first chapter. :) I got the impression it as just the water/rain.

70titianscrivener
May 4, 8:58pm Top

rretzler Yes, doesn't it?! That's what's so frustrating. It feels so familiar, but I keep drawing a blank.

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