Babouc's Vision - Book Review

Babouc's Vision

Author: Glenn Searfoss
Genre: Fiction - Science Fiction
Publisher: Acorn Books
Date Published: November 23, 2021
ISBN-10: 1789828392
ISBN-13: 978-1789828399

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Book Review of :  Babouc's Vision


Babouc’s Vision, by Glen Searfoss, is a futuristic fantasy with a frightening social commentary. The story is set in 2041 in the city of CynCity, a nightmarish dystopian society.  Harl Babouc runs a small appliance and electronics repair shop in this dark cacotopia world. Searfoss’s narrative pervades a feeling of fear, hopelessness, oppression, and injustice throughout his tale. It virtually oozes from the pages.

Harl Babouc is described as a compassionate old man whose existence depends on the scrounged reusable refuge that he barters for and the futurist electronic gadgets he repairs. His entire existence has revolved around his cluttered appliance and electronics repair shop and the small apartment behind it where he lived. Then one day, he is approached by a demonic-looking being that can transform itself into something with an angelic-like appearance. This being named, Ithuriel orders Harl to evaluate the city and report back.

The lives of several of the city’s citizens are then revealed. The author creates unforgettable vignettes of these characters. They are individuals living on the street, people hopelessly searching for work, and people who rob and exploit others. There are gangs that necklace their victims with flaming tires and governmental departments that have zero empathy for those they are supposed to serve. Searfoss keeps it dark and hopeless as you read through these short narratives of hopeless individuals.

The time period and viewpoint of the author, through the eyes of Babouc, reveal a socialistic society with violence and depravity as the norm. The stories of the lives of people experiencing several social “norms” are loosely connected, beginning with starvation and lack of housing. Living conditions are gross, with filth and terror in the crude neighborhoods. Struggles for existence are dehumanizing, but people seem to be acclimated or conditioned to accept their fate.

One scene involves the ocean tides returning years of garbage that had been dumped offshore. Each surging wave spews heaps of suffocatingly rank trash onto the shore, “ridding itself of the excrement of decades.”

Street gangs vie to rule the urban areas. With vivid descriptions of violence, death, and bare survival, viciousness and ferocity with a lack of compassion reveal the rage that is an undercurrent in the young people’s hopeless lives.  Older people were preyed upon for their apartments. Some were killed by gangs who wanted the apartments others were paid money for their abodes by the government, and then they soon found themselves homeless.

The lack of health care due to government and rapidly changing insurance qualifications and lack of benefits affects many citizens. Having a baby requires governmental permission, and the parents must pass an in-depth genetic testing to prove their DNA is free of any negative traits. This genetic predisposition testing for or against certain traits keeps the public from having to financially bear the burden of the genetically damaged. “Abortion is mandated when …abnormalities indicate high probabilities of physical and/or psychological disabilities”.

But what does this angelic entity, Ithuriel, honestly want from Harl, and what will it provide or take from this dystopian community? Is it there to destroy or to better Harl’s world?

Babouc’s Vision provides a frightening recognition of the thinness of civilization, of how dysfunctional our “reliable” connections are, forcing us to take stock of the vulnerability of humans in the face of change. It is a poignant narrative about a not-too-distant future and it relates to many of the most urgent issues currently flooding today’s media. Babouc’s Vision is a fictional piece that gives us a glimpse into what may be waiting for today’s civilization just a few decades hence.


Reviewed by: Carole W

Latest Author Interview

Babouc's Vision & Cycles of Norse Mythology

An intriguing interview with Glenn Searfoss about his writing and views of the world we live in today. He talks about his book Babouc's Vision, a futuristic fantasy with a frightening social commentary and his book Cycles of Norse Mythology a fascinating history of Norse mythology with thrilling tales of the creation of the world, battles by the gods, and much more....

About Glenn Searfoss

Engaging storytelling transports the reader to a different time/place/viewpoint and encourages their exploration of a subject.

A professional writer of 28+ years, Glenn Searfoss has authored numerous technical manuals (bills must be paid), as well as books in the arenas of computer science, natural history, science fiction, and mythology.

Glenn lives with his wife and two boxer dogs in a turn-of-the-century, brick farmhouse in Colorado, USA. When not busy making a living, he gardens, works on the house (there is always something to work on with an old house), reads classic and not-so-classic literature, and does research for new book projects.

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