Riddley Walker: The Sci-Fi Classic You Might’ve Missed

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Post-apocalyptic stories usually carry a certain pulp, they’re about societies basically like ours. Riddley Walker is a more realistic attempt, the language is really dialectic, like, phonetic pronunciations of unfamiliar language. Well, the nice thing is you can be an archaeolinguist and sort out the rather primal and (spoilers!) atomic roots of what these tribes people are talking about.

If you’re in the mood for serious science fiction, this is a classic and foundational piece, and there aren’t any starships or anything.

Riddley Walker

Set in a remote future in a post-nuclear holocaust England (Inland), Hoban has imagined a humanity regressed to an iron-age, semi-literate state–and invented a language to represent it. Riddley is at once the Huck Finn and the Stephen Dedalus of his culture–rebel, change agent, and artist. Read again or for the first time this masterpiece of 20th-century literature with new material by the author.–From publisher description.