I’m a massive fan of Orson Scott Card. He got me hooked with Ender’s Game and then I got into the Alvin Maker series. To my surprise, I received an Audiobook from one of my friends with a story I had not read or come across before. The Elephants of Poznan.
About the story
The story is set about 20 years after a plague kills off most of humanity, in the city of Poznan in Poland. The author did mention in the intro of the book that the story came to him after visiting Poland and wanted the story to be based there, so he wrote it and unlike his other books, did not want it immediately published. In the end, his friend and interpreter translated this book into Polish and it was published first in a Polish Sci-Fi Mag. This audiobook I received was the first English reading of the story. Lucky me!
The book continues with an interesting twist – the Elephants from Africa had migrated north, past Ukraine, past Belarus, into Poland and were now in Poznan checking out the humans.
Why were they interested in us? Humans were no longer killing them for their ivory. The world was theirs. We were going to die—I, who was only seven years old when the plague came, am now past thirty, and many of the older survivors are already, if not at death’s door, then studying the travel brochures and making reservations, their Bibles open and their rosaries in hand.
The main character even asks himself this:
No other animals from Africa had made the journey north. Only the elephants, and not just from Africa—the elephants of India were roaming the Orient, and on the most recent Radio Day we learned, through messages relayed many times, that they had somehow crossed the Bering Strait and were now, in ever greater numbers, grazing the prairies of America, small-eared cousins to the great-canopied beasts that now shadowed us on the streets of Poznan. I pictured them swimming, or piling onto boats that some last human pilot guided for them onto the stygian shore.
They had inherited the Earth, and were bent on surveying their new domain.