Cover image of "Scattered Seeds," a novel about survival in a fast-changing world

For the people of the little community at the High Meadow Med Center, the world around them poses a growing threat. The government—whatever and wherever that may be—has shut down the train station they’d depended on for life-saving vaccines and food rations. The weather service no longer functions. Bandits are attacking the community more and more often, forcing them to devote more resources to the Watch. Pressgangs roam the countryside, kidnapping men and women alike who are on the move and leaving their children to fend for themselves. Catastrophic storms force them to shelter below-ground and cover the crops they struggle to raise in the adjacent fields. The deadly “flu” returns like clockwork every year, carrying away more and more members of their community. And as High Meadow’s resources shrink, the population grows, with refugee families staggering in. They’re eking out existence in a fast-changing world.

Leaders well suited for a fast-changing world

These are the daunting conditions that face High Meadow’s leadership. The old couple who founded the community—Angus and Tillie—now depend increasingly on the resourcefulness and determination of the men and women around them. Martin, a former Special Forces operative, runs the Watch. Once an FBI agent, Nick now serves as Angus’ eyes and ears throughout the region, roaming to gather information for the old man’s work in progress, “History of a Changed World.” And Wisp, an android (“biobot”) with the capacity to read emotions at a distance, now helps vet the refugees streaming in and warn the Watch of impending attacks. High Meadow lacks people with many essential skills, especially in farming, but in its leadership it’s well equipped to survive in a world where the changes come thick and fast. It’s what we today call dystopia.

Scattered Seeds is the second of the five books in Alice Sabo’s Changed World series. The setting is well drawn and the characters relatable. All told, this is a story worth telling, and she tells it well.


Scattered Seeds (Changed World #2) by Alice Sabo (2015) 366 pages ★★★★☆


Artist's image of the apocalypse, unlike the fast-changing world of this novel
If you imagine the apocalypse looking like this, you might instead think along the lines portrayed in this novel. Image: Cal Alumni Association

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See my review of the first book in the Changed World series, Lethal Seasons (The Apocalypse unfolds in this gripping science fiction novel).

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