"The Descent Into Silence"

Title"The Descent Into Silence"
Year for Search1984
AuthorsGilbert, G[arvin] R[obert](b. 1917)
Tertiary AuthorsGilbert, G. R.
Date Published1984
PublisherG. R. Gilbert Papers
Place PublishedMacmillan Brown Library, University of Canterbury
KeywordsAotearoa New Zealand author, Male author
Annotation

Dystopian novel set after a nuclear war. Set in the 1940s with New Zealand collapsing, reverting to savagery. Initially the government establishes an Office of Public Co-ordination (OPC) with powers equivalent to the government to ensure the continued functioning of New Zealand, but it fails and moves to a military base where military dictatorship is established in the surrounding area. The protagonist leaves the military area and ends up joining a group of religious tribes which is also presented in dystopian terms. The manuscript is accompanied by correspondence with Wren Green, the project leader and principle author of the New Zealand Planning Council report "New Zealand After Nuclear War". Green agreed to read the novel and reported back to Gilbert in 1987 that it was an accurate reflection of the issues New Zealanders would face. See the note at 1952 Gilbert.

Info Notes

MB 957, Box 5, item 15. The manuscript consists of a list of topics and two slightly different versions of an outline of the novel rather than the full text, which correspondence indicates was badly damaged in the mail when a publisher returned it with a rejection letter.

Author Note

The Aotearoa/New Zealand author’s name (b. 1917) is most often given incorrectly as Gavin.

Full Text

1984 Gilbert, G[arvin] R[obert] (b. 1917). “The Descent Into Silence.” G.R. Gilbert Papers, Macmillan Brown Library, University of Canterbury. MB 957, Box 5, item 15. The manuscript consists of a list of topics and two slightly different versions of an outline of the novel rather than the full text, which correspondence indicates was badly damaged in the mail when a publisher returned it with a rejection letter.

Dystopian novel set in the 1940s after a nuclear war with New Zealand collapsing and reverting to savagery. Initially the government establishes an Office of Public Co-ordination (OPC) with powers equivalent to the government to ensure the continued functioning of New Zealand, but it fails and moves to a military base where military dictatorship is established in the surrounding area. The protagonist leaves the military area and ends up joining a group of religious tribes which is also presented in dystopian terms. The manuscript is accompanied by correspondence with Wren Green, the project leader and principle author of the New Zealand Planning Council report “New Zealand After Nuclear War”. Green agreed to read the novel and reported back to Gilbert in 1987 that it was an accurate reflection of the issues New Zealanders would face. The Aotearoa/New Zealand author’s name is most often given incorrectly as Gavin.