Sam Penny's New Novel "Was a Time When" Reviewed By San Francisco Book Review

A review of Sam Penny's new novel "Was a Time When" from the San Francisco Book Review will appear in their April issue. Their conclusion: Penny paints an intriguing picture, not of What Might Have Been, but more of What Probably Will Be.

Author Sam Penny's third novel entitled Was a Time When just received a kind review from San Francisco Book Review which will be published in their upcoming April issue. The review is transcribed below.

"CosandJo is a young Neu-human archeologist in the year 3100 when he makes an astonishing discovery - the recorded memoirs of one Samuel Julian Hardy. Child genius, scientist, realist, survivalist, and eventual leader, Sam Hardy has left behind an amazing treasure - an eye witness account of the collapse of human civilization. Sam's account covers the years between 2015 and 2100 and describes the trajectory of the failing economy, the occurrence of multiple natural disasters, the rampant break-out of war, and the world-wide pandemics, all of which eventually decimated the world's population to less than a billion inhabitants. Fascinated by this personal account, CosandJo and his colleagues eagerly listen to Sam's retold experiences, determined to learn what they can so as to ensure that their Neu-human society doesn't make the same mistakes.

Once you wrap your head around the idea that Penny's book is meant to be a sort of on-going Worse-Case Scenario, then you can relax and start to enjoy the intellectual exercise it embodies. While the timing of the on-going disasters-both man-made and natural-border on the suspiciously convenient, there's no denying that the events themselves have every probability of happening, especially in light of how our current society views things like conservation. While I do wish Penny had given more props to those groups and efforts that are focused on renewable energy and conservation (instead of simply painting our current society as being only made up of complete and total dunderheads), I do still appreciate the fact that most of the events portrayed in Was A Time When have the potential to be spot-on at some point in the future. With a solid timeline and a keen eye toward cause-and-effect, Penny paints an intriguing picture, not of What Might Have Been, but more of What Probably Will Be." -- San Francisco Book Review.

Penny responded to the reviewer, "Sorry you feel I am 'simply painting our current society as being only made up of complete and total dunderheads.' After watching how things have happened for the last fifty years, I simply do not have a whole lot of faith that the current crop of the human race will be able to figure out what is going wrong fast enough to take corrective action. Many of these problems were apparent years ago, and not much has been done about them in the meantime. I stand by my predictions."

Sam Penny, a.k.a. the Prudent RVer persona at, specializes in researching scenarios of potential disasters and describes his findings in novels to help the populace understand the possible dangers. He published two novels, "Memphis 7.9 (Revised)" in 2005 and "Broken River" in 2004, describing what would happen if an earthquake equivalent to that which struck the New Madrid Seismic Zone two hundred years ago in 1811-12 occurred in today's world. At that time the census counted 5,000 plus some number of slaves and natives living in the zone of destruction; now there are more than 32,000,000 who would be affected today.

Penny says, "This is still a disaster waiting to happen. I discuss the affects of such an earthquake in my new novel."

More comments, background material, and discussions can be found at the book's website

Penny's novels are available in printed book form and Kindle form from

Related Media