HOLLOW WORLD is an impressive piece of world building


Among his murmurings and musings on the world of imaginative fiction, Alastair Savage reviews Michael J. Sullivan’s Hollow World.

It’s an impressive piece of world building. We find a society living without families, want, deprivation, crime or war. However, in the process, people have lost much of what makes us truly human: emotions like fear, ambition, anger and love.


Sullivan’s real interest in writing Hollow World is to examine the conflict that currently seems to be tearing the United States apart. That is the conflict between liberal and conservative America, and their inability to come to peace even when the necessity for compromise is blindly obvious to all. Sullivan posits a future world where all our present-day hopes and aspirations have been swept away, leaving a world utterly alien in its place.


I enjoyed Hollow World. It was especially nice to see a positive portrayal of Detroit after Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex told the story of a city in flames, and the documentary Waiting for Sugar Man showed streets that were crumbling into ruins. If there is one weakness in the book it is that Sullivan has a touch of the Quammens, in that everything is compared to a present day film, book or actor. That kept breaking the story for me, especially when it was a reference to some more obscure point of Americana.

For the rest of Savage’s musings, visit his home page.

For information on Hollow Worldvisit the Tachyon page.