I’m a Boston boy, but I lived in Alaska for 10 years in the 1980s, and while most
of my time was spent in Juneau working at times as a weekly newspaper editor and as a legislative aide, I spent two long
winters in Nome as well. Inspired by Alaska’s rugged terrain
and its individualistic citizens, I have produced and packaged
the world’s first “cli fi” novel about global warming and polar cities set in an imaginary Alaska 60 years from now.
The book was written by Jim Laughter in Oklahoma, and it’s title is “Polar City Red.” Is it going to be a bestseller? No way. Is it going to sell enough copies to make its money back and allow me and the author to break even on our book? We didn’t spend a dime to create the book, and whatever royalties come in, they all will go to Jim as the sole author of the book. All I did was set the story up, give it a title and a theme, and turn over the 24 chapters of the final book to Jim. That’s what an independent book packager does. As the book’s producer, I will not receive any payments at all, but that’s not why I spent the past 6 years of my life preparing for this book. As a climate activist based now in Taiwan since 1991, I produced “Polar City Red” in collaboration with Jim in order to issue a wake up call about climate change in a novel way (pardon the pun). While scientists and climate people debate the issues back and forth, pro and con, I felt that a cli fi novel about what global warming might “look” like might be useful in our culture now. So I spent 4 years looking for a writer, a novelist with a background in science fiction. I found Jim Laughter by complete chance one day on the Internet, emailed him and asked if he had time — and the inclination — write to write a “climate thriller” about global warming and polar cities in Alaska. He said yes and we got to work. Or I should say, Jim got to work, because he did all the heavy lifting, the entire book belongs to him, he wrote every word of the book, and all credit should go to him. As the book’s producer I did three things: I gave the book it’s title; I asked Jim to set his story in Alaska; and I have been deeply involved in the online marketing campaign to get the word out about a book that could serve as another wake up call about the dire future we humans might face in the future. If we don’t stop the CO2 emissions that are messing up the planet, and if we don’t tighten the noose around coal and oil and find alternative ways of producing energy. Soon. The very fate of the human species lies in the balance.
Am I hawking Jim’s book here? No. I don’t care if you read it, and I am not in the business of selling books. I am not the publisher. I am the book’s producer, and I commissioned the novel as a novel way of getting some important messages about global warming out to a warming world. Jim wrote the book because I asked him to. He stands to make some money if the book sells well, but as producer, I am pretty sure that “Polar City Red” will have a limited readership and sell maybe 500 copies, if that many. It’s never going to be a bestseller and it’s never going to be a Hollywood movie. But as the first ”cli fi” novel to ever focus on global warming and so-called polar cities in the Arctic, Jim’s book has a role to play in our national discussion about climate change and the future of the United States.
You’ve heard of “science fiction” books, of course. And they have
had a powerful impact on our culture, from the early works of Isaac Asimov to the newer novels of Margaret Atwood and Cormac McCarthy. Now be prepared for a new genre of ”climate fiction” books about the future, and pick up a copy of “Polar City Red” if you are interested.
I feel that Alaskans will like Jim’s book more than most people in the Lower 48, because the entire novel is set in Alaska. Polar City Red is located near Fairbanks in the year 2075, and all the action takes place there. It’s just a story, pure fiction, and the novel shouldn’t scare or threaten anyone. Climate activists might enjoy reading it, and climate skeptics might also enjoy reading it. There is no agenda. Neither Jim nor I belong to any rightwing or leftwing group. All we are advocating with this book is: pay attention!
And thank you, Alaskans, for paying attention to what this former Alaskan had to say here. I haven’t been back to Alaska since 1991, when I flew over to Japan, but I am in touch with the state and its people by email and Internet on a daily basis. That is why I wanted Jim Laughter’s first cli fi novel to be set in Fairbanks.
TRAILER VIDEO for “POLAR CITY RED ” – sci fi novel by Jim Laughter
POLAR CITY RED info link: