content by

Nicole Brinkley

The Best Climate SF Novel You Might Have Missed: Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough’s Powers That Be

These days, climate change is on all our minds and in our stories. Whether you call it climate fiction or ecological fiction, speculative fiction focused on humanity’s impact on the earth is on the rise—and the stories are good. Really good. Just look at N.K. Jemisin’s dystopian fantasy series, The Broken Earth, or Kim Stanley Robinson’s science fiction novel New York 2140. Climate fiction isn’t just trendy. It’s unputdownable.

But stories exploring humanity’s impact on nature have existed for as long as literature has been written—especially when our effect on the climate is in the political eye. Before the Green New Deal made waves in the United States in 2019, and before the Paris Agreement in 2015, there was the Climate Change Convention in Rio in 1992 to establish an agreement stabilizing the use of greenhouse gases while allowing ecosystems to adapt to climate change and ensuring sustainable economic development.

[Enter Elizabeth Ann Scarborough and Anne McCaffrey’s with Powers That Be]

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Indie Bookseller Picks: Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, NY

Before I started my life as a bookseller, I visited bookstores only to find the science fiction and fantasy sections tucked into corners, hidden away from the floor like the Minotaur in its maze: something people were inexplicably drawn towards, but never something they wanted to look in the eye or admit to needing.

By the time I became a bookseller, things had begun to change—and now, in the bookselling circles I run in, it’s considered as egregious a crime not to carry N.K. Jemisin as it is to not carry Richard Russo.

Oh, yes, there are still booksellers who push against genre fiction. The same people who don’t understand why romance belongs in a bookstore—despite being the largest-selling genre in the publishing industry—often don’t understand why people would want to read about dragons and robots and magic and spaceships when there is perfectly good realistic literary fiction right there.

These people are fools.

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