One of my stories makes a contest’s short list in a field of 1,400

I’m thrilled to report what I consider to be one of my best successes on the writing contest circuit. My short story, The Pupfish of Miracle Spring, made the short list of ten finalists in The End of Our World contest, managed by Aftermath Magazine, which is based in The Netherlands. The contest drew more … More One of my stories makes a contest’s short list in a field of 1,400

Five Questions: Cai Emmons, author of Weather Woman

My Five Questions series is back after a hiatus, and I’m excited to present the answers of Cai Emmons, author of a fascinating new novel, Weather Woman. Climate change plays a big role in this story of a young broadcast meteorologist who discovers a unique talent: she can not only predict the weather, she can … More Five Questions: Cai Emmons, author of Weather Woman

Despite Trump’s denialism, 2017 could be a bright spot in the fight for planet Earth

I’ve taken inspiration from climate change. As a writer who loves speculative fiction, everything from Star Trek’s optimism to Margaret Atwood’s dark literary visions, I see global warming as fertile ground for storytelling. You might even say I’m taking advantage of the worst crisis to hit planet Earth in three million years. That only counts … More Despite Trump’s denialism, 2017 could be a bright spot in the fight for planet Earth

Dammit. Now we have to deal with the “alt-climate.” And they’re going to be in the White House.

Donald Trump believes that climate change is a “hoax” perpetuated by China, and his pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, will be his hatchet man. Oklahoma’s attorney general has pooh-poohed climate science, arguing that the lack of 100 percent agreement among scientists that climate change is human-caused is evidence that they might … More Dammit. Now we have to deal with the “alt-climate.” And they’re going to be in the White House.

Review: A faux-paleo world with email stumbles on its contradictions

A strain of environmentalism sees civilization as a mistake, a wrong turn in history taken 10,000 years ago at the invention of agriculture. The error sparked a chain of events taking us down the path to global warming and if you extend the trendline, global apocalypse. It would’ve been better if the first seeds sown … More Review: A faux-paleo world with email stumbles on its contradictions

Two thoughts about the future U.S. Supreme Court

The passing of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia last weekend turned national politics on its head. Not only will Americans elect a new president, but the Senate will debate the future direction of the highest court in the land. The situation makes me wake up in the middle of the night with meme … More Two thoughts about the future U.S. Supreme Court

How a flu shot got me thinking about memes

Lately, I’ve been thinking of ways to make my blog more “likeable,” which is a way of saying “less boring.” It’s a well-established fact of online life that outrageous gets attention and traffic, but my posts tend to be on the ponderous side, mostly because I’m not very good at provoking reactions or ranting about … More How a flu shot got me thinking about memes

What is the role of a writer as climate change creeps up on us?

It’s a ripe scene for satire. Twenty-five thousand bureaucrats and another 25,000 hangers-on are gathered in Paris at COP21 to exchange climate change jargon over sustainable wine and cheese. It’s hard, however, to ignore the seriousness of their effort, especially as a pall lingers over the city three weeks after the November 13 terror attacks. … More What is the role of a writer as climate change creeps up on us?

How writers can read The Grapes of Wrath as climate fiction

Great fiction dramatizes times, places and attitudes it was never meant to illuminate. Shakespeare’s plays are loved today, despite the sometimes impenetrable language and unacceptable sexism and racism, because they reveal the universal. For several years, I’ve been interested in how fiction authors deal with climate change, and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath is one … More How writers can read The Grapes of Wrath as climate fiction

Review: Why can’t climate change be funny and romantic, too?

One of my pet peeves about environmental activists and climate change activists in particular is their shriveled sense of humor. Not all, mind you, but most beat a constant drum of doom and gloom that makes me want to jump off a cliff. Way to crucify my Jesus, people! That’s why it’s refreshing to read … More Review: Why can’t climate change be funny and romantic, too?

The Windup Girl read as eco-fiction

It’s too bad more science fiction writers don’t address changes to Earth’s environment. Most are interested in the environment of other planets, while our home world’s atmosphere and biosphere grow more alien every day. Thank God for writers such as Margaret Atwood, with her Maddaddam Trilogy, Emmi Itäranta, author of The Memory of Water, and … More The Windup Girl read as eco-fiction

Is this book the prototype for the climate fiction novel?

Who wrote the first climate fiction novel? The small cadre of writers and editors interested in this new branch of science fiction cite J.G. Ballard’s 1962 novel The Drowned World as one of the first, if not the first, novels to explore how humanity copes with a warming world. But Ballard’s novel was published long … More Is this book the prototype for the climate fiction novel?

Is the story of Noah a divine warning on climate change?

The God of Abraham loves to punish humanity for not playing by His rules. He throws regular temper tantrums, especially in Genesis. They’re epic stories, perfect for Hollywood, with potential for big visuals and as star vehicles. In March, Russell Crowe will star in a new version of a fan-favorite divine meltdown: Noah and his … More Is the story of Noah a divine warning on climate change?

Review: Hot Mess

Climate change is relatively unexplored territory in fiction, including speculative fiction, and most of the pioneers in this area have investigated the subject via the novel. Relatively few writers have tackled it with the short story and other short forms. One collection, however, corrects this mistake. Hot Mess: Speculative Fiction About Climate Change, edited by … More Review: Hot Mess

Review: Water’s Edge a Plausible YA Climate Yarn

Climate change is too abstract for most people. Scientists focus on impacts decades out, while hedging predictions with “may” or “could.” Activists often turn these prognostications into apocalyptic visions, and the hyperbole turns people off. When something truly frightening occurs, such as a super typhoon or powerful late season tornadoes, an audience ready to hear … More Review: Water’s Edge a Plausible YA Climate Yarn