In the 30,000 word dystopian novella, Wellspring (Cosmic Egg Books, 2013), William T. Hathaway describes the drought devastated California of 2026. “The 18-year-old new high school graduate, Bob Parks, escaping from LA meets up with the 77-year-old retired public interest lawyer, Jane Catherine Willoughby while hitchhiking. The two of them go on a Quixotic search for water which they believe exists underground.
Jane believes in a universal consciousness and teaches Bob Transcendental Meditation so they can tap into the consciousness and let that lead them to the water. This is reminiscent of Upton Sinclair’s, Mental Radio (1930), which documents Sinclair’s test of psychic abilities of Mary Craig Kimbrough, his second wife, Sinclair uses an immigrant Polish medium in the eleven book Lanny Budd series whose control, an ancient Native America, to lead Lanny to success. The Transcendental Meditation also echoes Jack London in his book Star Rover (1915). This is a novel of prison brutality and reincarnation. Darrell Standing, a university professor serving life imprisonment in San Quentin for murder. Prison officials try to break his spirit by means of a torture device called “the jacket,” a canvas jacket which can be tightly laced so as to compress the whole body, inducing angina. Standing discovers how to withstand the torture by entering a kind of trance state, in which he walks among the stars and experiences portions of past lives.
Unfortunately, Wellspring starts out by telling the reader about the drought, and not allowing description and dialogue detail it. Few writers have the ability to describe the world from the perspective of a young man as Russell Banks does in Rule of The Bone. This book suffers from being told from the viewpoint of Bob Parks.
The salvation of Transcendental Mediation should be the focal point of the book, but it is never adequately explained and leaves the reader with a sense of disbelief. The love scene at the end of the novella is unbelievable because it is written as if Bob Parks were a very experienced man and not an 18-year-old.
The premise of the book, that a large underground reservoir of water can somehow end the drought is ludicrous. Droughts are determined by ocean temperatures and wind currents and not underground water.
Please don’t decide not to read this book because of my negative opinion of it, but rather read it, and draw your own conclusions.
To purchase: http://www.cosmicegg-books.com/books/wellsprings