Friday, September 15, 2017

Guest Post: Climate change is here. Storytelling is one way we can cope. By J.G. Follansbee

Hello readers,

today I welcome J.G. Follansbee to Fit & Beautiful Heart reads in honor of his dystopian novelette The Mother Earth Insurgency with a guest post.

Climate change is here. Storytelling is one way we can cope.

Scientists agree. Climate change is real and it's already here. It affects millions of lives on a daily basis. If it hasn't affected you directly, it's only a matter of time until it does.

The changes are incremental and accumulating. Rain is falling harder, more often, and in greater amounts. Heat records break every day, in summer and in winter.

How will we live a decade from now, or a century, or a millennium? Will our species survive?

That's where storytelling comes in. As a writer of speculative fiction, I'm interested in how humans will adapt to a new world where average temperatures are as many as six degrees above the historical average, according to current scientific predictions. Even predictions on the low end will likely result in massive disruptions of life on planet Earth, including human life.

In Tales From A Warming Planet, a series I've written with climate change as a main theme, human beings live, grow, and fight, as they always have, but in a different environment. In August, I released the first story in the series, titled The Mother Earth Insurgency. It's a novelette of 15,000 words, a kind of preview of my series of three novels. The Mother Earth Insurgency is available now on Amazon.

In The Mother Earth Insurgency, Nick Sorrows is an agent of the Bureau of Environmental Security who infiltrates a terrorist group fighting what it believes is the corporate takeover of “green” energy, such as wind farms and solar farms. The BES is tasked with protecting the planet from environmental harm, somewhat like the FBI, but with darker methods. As Nick pursues his mission, he discovers a major action planned by the group, led by an ex-environmental lawyer named Jon Janicks. The action could kill Sorrows' young son. Can Nick save his son and thousands more from certain death?

All my stories in the Tales series fit into the dystopia and thriller genres, with a heavy dose of science fiction. (Sorry, no spaceships or ray guns.) I've focused on strong characters, particularly female characters. In the first novel, Carbon Run, scheduled for release this fall, Anne Penn is a young woman whose father is accused of destroying an endangered species. After her father disappears, Anne accompanies another BES agent, Janine Kilel, to find her father. More strong female lead characters appear in upcoming Tales  novels, including City of Ice and Dreams, and Restoration.

A few commentators place these kinds of stories in a new genre, “climate fiction.” The genre's history goes back decades, and today's practitioners include Kim Stanley Robinson, Margaret Atwood, and Barbara Kingsolver. The canon is expanding all the time.

More and more writers are asking: How will we live in a climate-changed world? My work is a small, hopefully entertaining, answer to the question. I hope you'll go along for the journey.

J.G. Follansbee is a writer who blogs at You can follow him on Facebook (@AuthorJGFollansbee), Twitter (@Joe_Follansbee), and Instagram (@jgfollansbee).

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