OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “SISTER NUN,” BY SHANTI WEILAND AND “LOST AT THAXTON,” BY MICHAEL E. JONES, CAN BE FOUND BY SCRO9LLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, ALONG WITH THE “FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY.” OR, YOU CAN CLICK THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHORS PAGE.
The issue of global warming has already insinuated itself into scientific discourse and political argument. And now, judging from two of this week’s featured Snowflakes in a Blizzard books, it has become a rich source for novelists.
Writes “Missile Paradise” author Ron Tanner: “If you’re curious about the world — and Americans in the world — you’ll find this book of interest. Although the story in “Missile Paradise” is fiction, everything I reveal in the book is true: we Americans do have a top secret missile base in the middle of the Pacific; the base is populated mostly by American civilians (programmers, engineers, and so on); the Marshallese (our hosts) are a thoroughly troubled people and soon their islands will be under water. Most Americans have never heard of any of this, but they should know.”
Meanwhile, K.E. Lanning brought several several scientific degrees, a career in geophysics, and a keen interest in science fiction to the latest book in her “eco-fiction” trilogy, “The Sting of the Bee.”
“I was interested in the political and social implications of a catastrophic melting of the ice caps rather than focusing on the environmental impacts per se,” she says. “I wanted to throw characters into the fray, and follow their journeys through a maze of personal sacrifices, betrayals, and intrigue.”
Finally, in our continuing celebration of National Poetry Month, we give you Kate Angus’ “So Late to the Party.” Perhaps it could serve as a hopeful chaser to the eco-fiction offerings.
As one reviewer observes:
“‘Lift off the roof / of your skull,” writes Kate Angus in this confident, wonderful debut, and I do indeed feel my mind dangerously opened by the clarify and intimacy of these intelligent, warm, sad, funny, genuine poems. This poet takes us with her as she walks through the world, often alone, often filled with happy despair, always hopeful, always thinking of distant others, including us, her readers. This book does not merely describe, but enacts a faith in life, and in poetry’s necessity. This is the poetry for those of us who don’t just want but need to ‘always and silently unseal everything,’ to see what we can feel and know.”
UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, APRIL 10-16.
“MISSILE PARADISE,” BY RON TANNER.
Booklist’s starred review put it this way: “Tanner’s high-adrenaline, piquantly funny, bad-to-worse novel is set in the Marshall Islands, where the U.S. detonated 67 nuclear bombs between 1946 and 1958, subjecting the Marshallese to the unending consequences of nuclear fallout.
“It’s 2004 at the start of this tale of cultural dissonance, hubris, anger, loss, and resiliency, and Cooper, a talented video-game programmer, is about to join a missile-defense group on the island of Kwajalein, a military stronghold on which Marshallese are not allowed after dark. But he has a freak accident after sailing alone across the Pacific from California, following a rift with his fiancée, and begins his stay on Kwajalein in rehab after losing a leg. A bizarre diving mishap has left Alison widowed with two young sons. Jeton, an impulsive Marshallese teenager jilted by his American girlfriend, propels himself into deep trouble. And Art, the flinty cultural liaison, fights discrimination against the Marshellese.
“In this poisoned island paradise besieged by poverty, disease, and rising sea levels precipitated by global warming, each irresistibly self-embattled character makes grievous mistakes, suffers from regret, and plunges into disaster. Tanner (From Animal House to Our House, 2012), who lived in the Marshall Islands and launched the Marshall Islands Story Project, brings this microcosm of human folly and valor to captivating realization with bracing insights, tangy humor, profound respect, and rebounding resonance.”
“THE STING OF THE BEE,” BY K.E. LANNING
The newly unveiled continent of Antarctica braces for an invasion of humans. After the murder of his wife, John Barrous escapes from the corrupt country of the United States of Amerada, filled with haves and have-nots, to stake a claim on the rich, virgin land of Antarctica. Along with Lowry Walker, now returning to her home, John and his fifteen-year-old daughter join a United Nations PR event, an Oklahoma-style land rush. But the Rush turns into a race against ruthless, armed competitors . . . and a corrupt politician determined to control this new land. Within the epic of settling a new land, John and Lowry crisscross in this complex tale of love, destiny and betrayal.
“SO LATE TO THE PARTY,” BY KATE ANGUS
Writes Kate: “I think So Late to the Party ultimately is about being lonely and curious and optimistic but also sometimes very sad and longing for a connection with others and the world. This is a very beautiful life, but also sometimes a really hard one, and these poems dwell in that space, in a speaker who is trying to figure out how can we live in this world as well and as happily and as kindly as possible even when we feel lost. I think anyone who has felt that way might find an echo of their experiences in these poems and so also hopefully feel a little less alone in the world.”