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Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling

It’s funny how obsessed we are with stories in post-apocalyptic settings. My dad doesn’t really like them, but me mum and I love them. I asked her once why she liked them so much, and she said because they were about humankind’s ability to overcome. Dies the Fire fits that quite well. The premise is that somehow the physics of our world change (a time event called The Change) and fast combustion no longer works. This means that electricity, guns and explosives don’t work anymore, but slow combustion like fire and the human body still do. Basically, it sets humankind back a ways and the book (series actually) is about the immediate effects and how a group of people deal with it.

Title: Dies The Fire, the series is The Change
Author: S. M. Stirling
Length: The first book is 573 pages (paperback), there are several series in this world


  • Very interesting premise handled in a realistic (and sometimes gruesome) way
  • Strong female character and interesting male character along with a ragtag group of others form a nice little community
  • A few amusing moments (there is a comment about the stupidity of sheep)
  • Fairly accurate on the science once you get past the change in the laws of physics


  • I read it a while ago, but I really don’t remember any interesting character development… or what the overarching plot beyond survival was, but survival is a pretty decent plot
  • Towards the end of the first book and pretty much all of the second book there is a lot of political intrigue that happens, which doesn’t interest me at all (and is why I didn’t read the second book) but may interest other people
  • If cannibalism grosses you out a lot, I don’t recommend reading this book, since that is something desperate humans with no food left tend to do

Summary: It’s a very good book if you like post-apocalyptic settings and have a secret love of homesteading stories (>.> <.< *hides Harvest Moon collection*). Apparently the second book has a lot of intrigue (according to me mum) so if you like that, yey. I can only recommend reading the first book, but I do recommend it. It’s not exactly a light read, but perfect for that post-apocalyptic survival mood we all get sometimes.

Three books left in the pile and then there will be a new pile :D. Also, a side note, I’ve been playing Rift and it is a most excellent game.


© 2011 – 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I remember really enjoying Dies the Fire, and that it scared the crap out of me, in a good way. I started reading the 2nd book in the series, but couldn’t get into it. I should really try the whole thing again one of these days.

    • Yeah, those cannibals were really creepy! I didn’t even try to read the second book because my mom had the same reading experience as you did specifically because the book was more into the politics than the action. I really wished he had continued to focus on the frontier living aspects!


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