5

Trying to remember a book I read around 1998, though I think it was written a few decades earlier.

Humanity had destroyed itself, and the characters in the story were all intelligent (and possibly humanoid, not sure) animals living in a community. Old technology (implied to be nuclear) was forbidden, but for some reason it became necessary to travel along a river to a stash of technology. A big storm was an important part of the plot, though I'm not sure if it was just a threat or if it was the reason for the river trip in the first place.

  • You're sure it was a whole book, not just a short story? – user14111 Sep 2 '16 at 22:18
  • Edmond Hamilton's "Day of Judgment" (which you can read here) has postapocalyptic Earth ruled by intelligent mutated dogs, cats, bears etc., but no storm, no river trip, no stash of technology, just a short story, not what you're looking for. – user14111 Sep 3 '16 at 7:24
  • It was definitely a book. I think it wasn't particularly long, and may have been for young adults, but I read a lilbrary re-bound copy so I don't remember the cover or anything... – polm23 Sep 3 '16 at 7:28
  • Could it be Star Man's Son by Andre Norton? I don't remember the story well after so many years, but there was a river trip, and mutated animals, and it was for young adults. – user14111 Sep 3 '16 at 7:37
  • There is a plot summary here. – user14111 Sep 3 '16 at 7:44
2

This sounds like possibly the 1972 Andre Norton novel A Breed to Come.

Points that match:

A few decades earlier than 1998:

Check. Written in 1972.

Humanity had destroyed itself

Partial check. When desperate measures failed to control what men had begun and could not stop, they fled their polluted planet, leaving behind an epidemic virus born of experimentation.

and the characters in the story were all intelligent (and possibly humanoid, not sure) animals living in a community.

Check. Yet unlike men, whom the disease could destroy, the animals of the planet thrived. Each generation was more forceful and intelligent than the last. Old technology (implied to be nuclear) was forbidden,

Partial check. In the ruins of what was once a university complex, a vast band of cats, more highly evolved than those on the outside, sought to master the works of men. But from what I remember reading it (has probably been 40 years or more) there was a lot of resistance to the small group that was trying to learn the technology

but for some reason it became necessary to travel along a river to a stash of technology. A big storm was an important part of the plot, though I'm not sure if it was just a threat or if it was the reason for the river trip in the first place.

Partial check. When humans come back to the planet the long simmering conflict between "The People" which are the feline derived humanoids and the "Ratons" evolved rats heats up, forcing a need to get even more technology.

A number of various covers exist. Perhaps one of these may match?

Good luck.

Cover1 Cover2 Cover3

  • Thanks! This is definitely the closest suggestion so far, and I feel like I need to get a sample of the prose to see if it rings any bells... However, the lack of mention of anything nuclear makes me not sure it's the one I remember. As to the cover, I read a hardcover copy that I'm pretty sure was library rebound (no dustjacket) so unfortunately those don't help even if they're right. – polm23 Sep 8 '16 at 4:50
  • "I will go to Gammage" -- that quote has stuck with me for 45 years. – Zeiss Ikon Nov 22 '17 at 18:00
  • Found this online - a review of this book with a character named Gammage! The relevant line reads: People’s founder and mentor, the aged Gammage, has a grander perspective, both thanks to his long experience and because he has made his home in an ancient Demon stronghold filled with ancient knowledge—some useful, much of it quite disturbing. The website is: andre-norton-books.com/articles-about-andre/reviews/… – vonbein Sep 16 at 4:33
1

Possibly "Pet Plague" by Darrel Bain

From GoodReads : "In an erotic future society genetically enhanced pets have overrun the world and driven humans into vast barricaded enclaves, where social and sexual mores have undergone drastic changes. When an alien spaceship crashes in the wilds, two competing enclaves form expeditions to recover the advanced technology. A battle between them is certain, but first they must fight their way through an overgrown countryside where intelligent animals rule supreme. [EPIC 2000 Finalist]"

  • Any reference to any of the other details besides the intelligent animals you could possibly add in? – Edlothiad Nov 22 '17 at 18:21
  • I read the book in the question when I was pretty young so seems safe to say it wasn't this. – polm23 Nov 24 '17 at 10:45

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