Day of creation. J. G. Ballard. 1987.

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The parched, diseased, impoverished terrain of central Africa, somewhere near the borders of Chad and Sudan is the locale of Day of Creation. Doctor Mallory arrives to run a WHO clinic in the small town of Port-la-Nouvelle, but within six months the surges and countersurges of guerilla paramilitary activity in this forgotten and lawless zone have left him without patients, and he devotes himself instead to the problem of bringing water to the region, dreaming of a third Nile which will bring the Sahara into flower.

Then an apparent miracle occurs. In front of Mallory’s eyes a tractor extending  the local airstrip shifts a huge tree bole, and water bubbles to the surface: first a trickle, but soon a powerful flood.Within days more water has flowed from inland, and a sizeable river seems to be forming. There may be a simple explanation - seismic activity in the mountains two hundred miles away has shifted the water table - but to the obsessed Malory the river is in some way his creation, to be owned by him, to be named after him, and to be explored………

On his journey to the source of the River Mallory, the doctor becomes the focus of a strange gaggle of people: Noon, the mysteriously silent adolescent girl, formerly a child recruit to the guerrilla army; Professor Sanger, documentary film maker, hoping to revive his faded reputation with despatches from this forgotten and unglamorous corner of Africa with the help of his Indian assistant, Mr Pal; Nora Warrender, widow of a Rhodesian veterinary surgeon, the remains of whose menagerie flourish exotically amid the new riverine fertility; and Captain Kagawa and General Harare, leaders of rival ‘armies’ - in reality little more than undernourished and equipped bandit groups - each dreaming of conquest and secession, wealth and fame.