It would be an exaggeration to say I am pounding the keyboard on my own work-in-progress, a 40-50,000 word short story collection scheduled for late fall. See a travel feature soon, right here, on our recent trip to Puerto Vallarta. Also, must keep reading works by others. One of them is K.E. Lanning, a scientist and writer formerly of Austin and now in the mountains of Virginia.
I finished the third book in her sci-fi/cli-fi trilogy earlier this month. [Note: it’s not out yet, I had an ARC; bookmark it and watch for promos] I recommend the set, although I like the third the best. You could read just that one, but better you at least read number two. Here’s the reviews:
The third book is the charm, to paraphrase an old saying. I received an Advance Review Copy for free from the author. Having read the first two books in this cli-fi series, I knew all about the protagonists John Barrous and Lowry Walker. The third picks up a bit into Barrous’s term as President of Antarctica. Because of climate change, Antarctica has become a refuge/resettlement target for those whose coastal cities have been flooded by rising oceans. Initially like America’s Wild West, the continent is settling down–somewhat. If you haven’t read the second book, you won’t be fully up to speed on the tension between Walker and Barrous–former lovers. The latter was incensed by Walker’s pushing him, successfully, into becoming the president. There are villains in this book as well as the first two–the conflict this time is with a religious zealot overstepping bounds and with a cabinet official with an alternate agenda. So, what we have is a mix of 1) politics, 2) crime/intrigue, 3) romance and 4) interesting descriptions of how people can adapt to a somewhat warmer (but still cold) Antarctica with technology that enables roadless transportation, growing crops and raising animals, etc. All-in-all, a feature-laden and well-written book.
Book two of the Melt trilogy surpasses the first. While you could start here, I’d suggest you begin with the first–A Spider Sat Beside Her. Lowry Walker returns to Antarctica as part of a land rush, like the old west in America. This time it’s run by the UN but not without the corruption and violence that accompanied that earlier one. Along the way, she gets into a relationship with a widower with a teenage daughter that’s fraught with challenges. This story continues the cli-fi theme, although it’s more of a subtext than the central element. All in all, it kept me turning the virtual page, knowing full well that things wouldn’t work out wonderfully for all parties concerned–good guys and bad. You can regard this as post apocalyptic and dystopian, but there are some redeeming values in the protagonists. I recommend it and will get to the third one, Listen to the Birds, when it’s out next year some time.