I am very pleased to be able to bring you a guest post from the accomplished writer, Felicity Harley. She is a generous and helpful community blogger and Twitter user who does much to promote the work of other writers. So I am also happy to promote her new novel here on this blog.
I will add links at the end, but here is her post for you to enjoy.
WHY I WROTE A NOVEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE
I’ve always been a fan of science fiction. My favorite writers are Herbert, Asimov, Bradbury and Orwell. I tend to like science fiction writers who explore what happens to human beings within the context of societies like ours which divorce us from our essential humanity. That’s why I like Fahrenheit 451, 1984, and the End of Eternity.
I think Herbert was quite prescient when he wrote Dune, because he imagined a planet and human beings living there who had to exist without water. In fact he was one of the first authors’ to popularize the importance of preserving our planet’s ecology. In my mind as well, all these authors in one way or another, examine the relationships between religion, politics and power, and also between bureaucracy and government.
Because of my own fascination with these themes, and because I’m also a student of social science by training, I set out to write a quartet of novels which would place a group of humans in a futuristic society that had failed to stop runaway climate change. I was fascinated by Naomi Klein’s book This Changes Everything, and both she and her book served as inspirations to
The first book in my four book series entitled Until This Last, The Burning Years has recently been published by Double Dragon Press and explores a lot of hard science around what is causing climate change.
The arc of the plot is set against U.S. government of plutocrats that has fled underground, who have saved themselves and a few others, the brightest and the best. Of course there are insurgents, and one of them is a female scientist who is heavily involved in geo-engineering the weather. The book takes place about sixty years in the future, just about the time when we may experience the most dramatic effects from climate change.
I deliberately did not want to write a dystopian book, but one that was full of hope based on our finer instincts as a species, our desire to return to smaller communities, and our current and future knowledge of technology.
Now I just have to figure out how to get people to take climate change seriously. I plan to use the book as a tool to get them involved.
Please check out to buy The Burning Years on my site below and hopefully review it on Amazon for me, and to see how you can get involved with 350.org so as to keep our planet safe and livable in the future.
From inside the flap
In the year, 2060, Sophie, a top female scientist, dismantles the government weather modification program and steals the male and female trans-humans who hold the promise of extended life.
While the remaining inhabitants of Earth are forced to design new underground habitats in order to survive a harsh, overheated world, Captain Rachel Chen, takes the worldship Persephone to Proxima Centauri, hoping that this new star system will provide a refuge for the survivors of the human race.
Reviews and Awards
“I LOVED this book. Even more than my just “loving it,” though, I feel very strongly that it critically bridges and transcends audiences and the timing is beyond perfect. I believe what you’ve written is incredibly important.
Your science, both current and future, is sound and far-reaching. You tap into so many levels of what’s going on, and what can possibly go on (travel beyond our planet). I really like the “voice” throughout the book, regardless of which scenario you’ve dropped the reader into. All are equally engaging and the character development is even and (almost) clinically objective. I think this will really (also) appeal to a sci-fi audience, which is awesome and very “in line” with today’s readers.
Additionally, I have to admit that I was haunted by your descriptions of the plutocracy and their reckless disregard for the vast majority of living things on Earth. What OTHER possible explanation can there even BE than yours (that they consider everyone but themselves to be “takers”)? Your descriptions of the political elite align perfectly with real-time scenes playing out across America right now.
The mix and “balance” of gloom and despair vs. incredible scientific achievements removed what might have become an almost claustrophobic effect. Example: The US population goes from 318 million to 10 million VS Rachel’s living, breathing personal space on Persephone which made me think of the vividness and aching beauty of the forests in the movie, “Avatar.” Very hard to achieve this effect,
[Side bar: VERY nice weaving of string theory, parallel universes, quantum entanglement, Maslow, and the heliosphere’s foam zone in the book! Also, excellent timing with “Stranger Things” making the US Department of Energy out to potentially be devastating in the future– and you’ve got DARPA. Perfect!]
After I finished the book, I again visited your website for The Burning Years. As I scrolled down to the pictures at the bottom, seeing them for the first time, it was SO NEAT. I advise anyone who reads the book to do the same thing.
“Here’s a fiction that’s not afraid to tackle some of the biggest topics of our time.”
Bill McKibben, author, The End of Nature and numerous environmental books, and founder of 350.org
“…the journey through a different way of inhabiting our solar system based on the latest technologies, developments, and beliefs about who we are and our relationship to living, life, and space…It’s wonderful―”
Rachel Armstrong, TED Senior Fellow, Professor and Pioneer of “Living Architecture”
You can check out Felitity’s blog here, and read more about her work.
The book is available here from Amazon.