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I'm trying to remember a sci-fi book I read in the seventies. All I can really remember is that the two main characters were called 'Milk' and 'Apple'.

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    I have also been looking for this book. I thought it was called something along the lines of "The New Renaissance", published between 1970 and 1974. From what I remember the story took place in a UK that had descended into some sort of hippiedom. It had been thrown out of the, then, EEC for being useless. The two lead characters were Milk and Apple (a painter and writer). We follow their story up to, and beyond, a nuclear war. The memorable thing was the book's contention that all history is bunk, and that historic events are really just the unintended consequences of peoples lives. – Andrew Bousher Apr 26 '18 at 13:27
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    @AndrewBousher there's "Project, Renaissance" by Eric C. Williams, 1973. If that's the book (I can't find plot description online), you can post it as answer. – Ayshe Apr 28 '18 at 11:46
  • Wow, fantastic, that question sat there for quite a while. Thanks a lot!!! – Tim Ring Apr 29 '18 at 22:54
  • Bought the book online, rare. "Project: Renaissance" by Eric C. Williams, published 1973 by SF Hale (Robert Hale & Company). Have just started reading it, will post a summary/review when done. – Tim Ring Jul 9 '18 at 14:28
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"Project: Renaissance" by Eric C. Williams, published 1973 by SF Hale (Robert Hale & Company).

Project: Renaissance front cover

I managed to get a copy from AbeBooks so here's a summary.

The book starts in a bucolic post-industrial Britain where the prosperity of the country depends on cultural/artistic exports for foreign currency. Milk (a writer) and Apple (a painter) are two idealistic artists given a commission by a government minister in order to re-integrate/stimulate society. Other ministers try to sabotage the effort and a third character, 'Storm' is in the pay of one of the ministers to sabotage or take over the project. The story covers their wanderings around the country creating the art work while abroad the industrial world is destabilising towards a world war. When the art work is finished it is co-opted by the government minister who arranges for Milk and Apple to be kidnapped and sent as 'slaves' to Antarctica. Thirty years after a devastating war people revere the creators of the written/painted art. An expedition to Antarctica to find the artists is undertaken and Apple is found (Milk having died a few years earlier). Apple brings the recreated missing parts of the project back to Britain where it is part of a social renaissance.

I was 15 when I read this in 1976 and remember enjoying it very much. I would have loved the hippy sensibility at the time. The book has dated badly. Not just the period (Day of the Triffids has not dated as a story, even if its writing is a little old-fashioned). Still, it was a hoot to re-read after all these years and a link to simpler time and a younger self.

  • Edited in the information from the other answer as I believe that is what you wanted to do, if not feel free to roll this back. – TheLethalCarrot Jul 27 '18 at 10:23

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