When you are writing speculative environmental fiction about future worlds (as in the solarpunk and cli-fi genres) you embellish present-day technology with marvelous new features. When your invented world is based on history, you research and repurpose features of past cultures.
My original encounters with eels were not pleasant. My mother, fond of roasted eel, liked me to catch them for her with a drop line. All the other fish I hauled onto the dock flopped about and died of natural causes. An eel, however, was a living breathing nightmare. It failed to drown in the air, so I had to bash it over the head with a hammer.
Exploring the blogosphere last week, I found a forum sponsored by Science Fiction and Fantasy World on a whole new genre – Cli-Fi.
When we think of nature as paradise, we envision our ideal first home, the Garden of Eden, in all of its natural loveliness. For many people, this world is lost to earth and only to be found “up there,” in heaven. To such believers, the idea that earth itself is chock full of divinity constitutes heresy.
Once I suspended my descriptions of ideal communities every couple of chapters to insert thoroughly bad goings on, I found the alternation from good to evil and evil to good created a satisfactory narrative rhythm. Rising suspense and an awful event followed by better times before the cycle repeated itself not only made for a better read but was also philosophically satisfying. That’s the way life goes, after all – the way it challenges our mettle.