Short Take: “White,” Tim Lebbon

Rating: 4 out of 5

In Tim Lebbon’s novella White, a bunch of people are stuck in a manor house during a wintry apocalypse. They know little about what’s going on out in the world, but enough to know they might be better off where they are. Until, that is, people start dying in terribly violent ways. There’s something white out there moving against the snow. But what will happen if it manages to come inside the manor?

We know very little about this apocalypse except for glimpses. There’s a disease ravaging the population. The earth itself seems to be rising up against people. The climate has gone crazy. Perhaps the earth has simply decided that man’s time is over. But we see this vast set of circumstances only through the lens of a small, fragile group of people suffering from arguments, different ideas of what should be done, and a dwindling supply of everything necessary. There’s a lot we won’t have learned by the end of the book, because the larger problems aren’t what it’s all about. It’s just this one story that happens to be set within that context.

As long as you’re fine reading a story that doesn’t particularly address the over-arching world issues, I think you’ll enjoy this. I certainly did.

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