Announcing the release of my latest book!
Climate Riot: Absurd Short Stories of Climate Crisis and Social Chaos.
While climate change is no laughing matter, the human condition, especially as a trigger for global warming, is ripe for lampooning with psycho-social satire. Set in Florida, ground zero for climate crisis, this angsty collection of seven short stories—and a preface, too—infuses absurd satire and dark humor into postmodern, cautionary tales of horror, science-fiction, fantasy, and social dysfunction.
A tropical storm of social and climate crisis which touches on the ludicrous, representing small-town eccentricity and featuring a whirlwind of mutating humans, manatees, iguanas, and enlightened cows, as well as hurricanes, genetically-modified corn, weeds gone wild, methane gas, nuclear power plants, Humpty Dumpty, government ineptitude, and a few Florida crackers, rednecks, and hicks. Also featuring my character, Judd Jugmonger, who not only is in the final story, but also plays a large role in the future 2nd novel.
Background: Personally Speaking
If you’ve followed me on Twitter in the last year, you’ll notice more and more that I’ve been commenting on climate crisis and related environmental news. This was a theme I had incorporated into my first novel, O Little Central Florida Town of Bedlam, which I considered a cautionary tale of the issue, especially as it was Florida-based.
Over the Summer of 2021, while staying in the England, I had written a follow-up novel to my first, again with a similar theme. While I’m still in the process of editing this work—hoping to release it in the Summer of 2022—I started thinking about a 3rd book in the series, one that would feature more of a plot in the future, as well as one that was more science-fiction oriented. To prepare, I began writing some related short stories. At the same time, I also became involved in writing some similar language-teaching material with more extreme climate-action themes that traditional educational publishers would not even to consider publishing. No, it’s not a language course book for ecoterrorists, but it is one for environmental activists. That content, I hope, will soon appear online, as well in the near future. All this immersion into themes of global-warming and chaos helped my usual creative fires burn brightly—look, ma, no fossil fuel!
Writing, to me, as work, is a good distraction from life’s hardships and misery. Nonetheless, trust me, it ain’t easy being homeless—let alone an indie author working on less than a shoelace budget. Unfortunately, there is a plethora of online companies looking to profit on the desperate and creative—and promised global-citizen freedom of the “interwebs” never really panned out, did it. There are nonstop hurdles to set up basic things online & a plethora of businesses gradually price-gouging the desperate—and either no one is paying attention, or everyone who can afford it is just sucking it up just like inflation, skimpflation, stagflation. However, you blindly call it.
At the personal level, it’s been just over a year now, that, to be honest, I’ve been homeless. I am currently still living in Greece, but hoping to relocate as soon as I can pull enough money together. It’s not easy; everything is more expensive and the language-teaching industry, especially in Greece, is worse than it’s ever been, Even with 30 years of experience, and at 58 years old, my situation is dire. Still, I stay productive, and writing, especially this material, not only gave me great pleasure, but also helped me push through some dark periods. I like to think I’m a survivor; I hope this planet is, too. However, we humans are our own worst enemies. Meanwhile, we all can do more than hope for better days.
Climate Action: You’re Not Paying Attention
One of my favorite expressions has always been, “Denial is not just a river in Egypt.” In the preface of Climate Riot, I connected this notion with my musings on being born in Miami. The city figures highly in this collection, as does Wepesiwa Beach, the fictional, Central Florida small town that I created and introduced in my first novel. Most environmentalists suggest that Miami will be flooded in approximately fifty years’ time. They’ve known this for years. And still, the local government and land developers persist on grandstanding for investing money into “water resiliency” ideas just to keep building and flogging housing units. In the same way, the energy (oil and gas) industry pays lip service to environmental themes by promoting unrealized carbon-capture technology. Change in needed now—and many even argue it’s too late. The punk battle cry of, “You’re Not Paying Attention,” continues to be relevant. Nevertheless, denial is rampant and so the hypothetical talk and misinformation about a glorious future continues to flow, all the while enabling the industry to maintain their keep their production levels and profits high, both today and tomorrow. It’s business as usual with the usual suspects.
There’s a reason this is called the Anthropocene; it’s human activities that have made the scene. Smokey Bear was right about personal responsibility. “Only you can prevent forest fires,” it said. Similarly, only you can reduce your carbon footprint. Yes, you can. Nonetheless, only industry stakeholders, across the global, have the power to achieve net-zero carbon status, and only government officials can mandate this. Obviously, they opt not to. History repeats because those “who have” choose to ignore this. The rest just seem to be along for the ride. With what power we have left, only we can make a difference. It’s why I wrote these stories.
I hope we can all help each other to achieve this. Otherwise, ___(fill in the doom-n-gloom blank)___. Thank you for ordering Climate Riot today. Thank you for supporting me, and paying attention to the planet. Seriously, as Bob Dylan sang, “You don’t need a weatherman, to know which way the wind blow.”
PS. Paperbacks will be available in the future, when I can get enough trees to agree to euthanize themselves. Again, you’re not paying attention!
On Amazon for Kindle
Climate Riot is also available in ePub format. The eBook is available online from PayHip. You can purchase and download this format at this link: https://payhip.com/b/bGSMh
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