It’s approaching the end of August, the month in which I was planning to release the third book of the Locksmith Trilogy. Obviously, that's not going to happen. Locksmith’s War is about half done.
The good news is that Book One of Altered Seasons, tentatively titled Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise, is done. It’s over 141,500 words long. I am meeting with a publisher soon, and am thinking of cover designs. Now comes the fun part — the pre-release marketing plan. First I’ll need a finalized cover image and release date, so everyone will know when to expect it and what to look for. Also, I have two websites, one of which looks about ten years old and the other looks like it emerged from the eldritch mist of Geocities. I’m going to have to get those updated and redesigned before I do anything with them.
Speaking of climate change, there’s been some debate on Twitter and elsewhere over exactly what tone to strike. You may have read this article, for instance. Not everyone is sure that this sort of thing helps. Some say we should emphasize available solutions, and the side benefits they carry with them.
Realistically, if we want to avoid some degree of climate change, the best time to act is… about twenty years ago. It’s already happening. What isn’t set in stone is exactly how much we have to deal with. Think of it as being on a scale of 0 to 10 — 0 being the state of the world at the start of the Industrial Revolution, 1 going on 2 being where we are now, 8 or 9 being the point where the tropics become hot enough to be uninhabitable for mammals like us and 10 being the Canfield Ocean scenario, where the deep ocean basically rots and produces enough hydrogen sulfide to render everywhere uninhabitable. Between 2 and 8 there are many different possible scenarios for the world, many gradations of degradation, each worse than the last. The world doesn’t have to venture very far in that direction for things to get really, really bad. This is the world of Altered Seasons — 2 going on 3, on that scale.
Personally, I try to avoid outright despair, because one thing I’ve noticed is that people who fundamentally do not want to act on the issue, or do not want to grant the government the power to act, will go directly from “no problem, in the future we will adapt and thrive” to “guess we’re all doomed” without ever hitting “this is a problem and we should do something about it.” Ironically, their opposition to acting comes from a love of freedom and a fear of constraint. In times of national emergency, freedom is the first thing to go, and, as said, long before we get to the end of the world we’ll reach something that could easily qualify as a national emergency… except that emergencies are not supposed to last for the rest of your life.
From a writer’s perspective, the most interesting scenarios are some of the nearest and least bad scenarios. Those are the ones where people and governments still have some degree of choice as to how they deal with the situation that confronts them.