After surviving the pandemic disease that killed everyone he knows, a pilot establishes a shelter in an abandoned airport hangar. But when he hears a random radio transmission, he's compelled to risk his life to seek out other survivors.
In softcover fiction, Hilary Mantel imagines Anne Boleyn's downfall, Martin Amis satirizes England, Paul Theroux sends a narrator back to the village he volunteered in, and Peter Heller depicts a post-apocalyptic life. In nonfiction, Robert Caro continues his LBJ biography.
In Peter Heller's debut novel, The Dog Stars, a man named Hig survives a superflu that kills most of humanity. Heller, a travel and adventure writer, says that when his novel took a post-apocalyptic turn, he found himself relying on his real-life scrapes and survival skills.
Peter Heller's novel follows protagonist Hig and his dog in a world ravaged by an epidemic and overrun with barbaric thugs. But its fragmented, poetic narrative — complete with a somewhat unconvincing love story — goes a long way toward dealing with the devastation.
Set in the Rocky Mountains after an epidemic has killed off most of society, The Dog Stars, by adventure writer Peter Heller, casts an unusual mood as it alternates between elegiac reflection, lyrical nature writing and intense, high-caliber action. The Dog Stars will be published on Aug. 7.