Well, I feel like this is the first adult fiction I've read in a long time. Wait though, I really don't like using the term "adult fiction". In my mind it brings up the idea of an "adult bookstore" with it's XXX signs and showing an ID to get in. So maybe, just to help my own sense of silliness, I'll say this is my first "grown-up" book in a while. :-)
This was a pretty good book. I talked about it in one of my Hazards of Working at a Bookstore blogs a few weeks ago. I can tell, now that I know it was published over 10 years ago, that it wasn't published that recently. While it probably was repackaged and released with the big oil spill we had last year, there are surely some things that could stand to be updated technology wise. But, all in all, it was a good story.
Basically it is the largest oil spill in history, and it happens in San Francisco Bay. The oil company tries to save their image by releasing an untested "designer microbe" that will eat the oil and anything made of petrocarbons. It should be done once it eats the oil spill, but as it was untested, they don't realize it can travel through the air, and it does. And it eats not only oil, but gasoline right out of cars gas tanks, synthetic fabrics, and plastic. In a few days, there is no way to make cars go with no fuel. And any plastic has dissolved, and this causes problems that you don't even realize because of how many minor things are made of plastic that we don't even realize.
The world turns into the past, with really no communication other than a few science labs that figure a way around it. The president is killed as he is visiting one of the oil supplying nations and his plane has brought the microbe with it and destroyed their countries as well. The Speaker of the House ends up as president and decides Martial Law is the best way to keep the nation safe. But not everyone agrees with hanging kids who are out after curfew or who have stolen a can of tuna. And when one military commander decides to stop a science testing area where they may be able to solve the energy problems, people decide to fight back.