Riddley Walker Background

Riddley Walker Background

Published in 1980 and winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award in 1982, Riddley Walker is a science fiction novel by American writer Russell Hoban. It is his most notable work, centering around a future devastated by nuclear warfare. The novel was critically acclaimed.

The basic plot is as follows: 2,000 years after a nuclear war has destroyed the world as we know it, the protagonist, a young boy named Riddley, finds out about a project to recreate a nuclear weapon from the past. The novel chronicles what he plans to do with this information, and his plans to stop it.

The world Riddley lives in is reminscent of the prehistoric Iron Age, where everything is produced in tiny villages and self-substainable communities. There is no advanced technology, and the communities are very disconnected from one another. Within Riddley's community specifically, there is a religion based around both the Church and the state, which have been combined. The futuristic language is very different, with many new phrases. Riddley Walker additionally won the Nebula Award in 1981 for "Best Novel".

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