The Sting of the Bee

The Sting of the Bee (Sting of the Bee Trilogy Book 2) by [Lanning, K.E.]

K.E. LanningTHE BOOK: The Sting of the Bee.

PUBLISHED IN: 4-4-2018

  K.E. Lanning.

THE EDITOR: Heather Webb and Jim Thomsen.

THE PUBLISHER: Indie Published

SUMMARY: Catastrophic global warming has melted the ice caps — John Barrous will stop at nothing to stake his claim on the rich, virgin continent of Antarctica.

After the murder of his wife, John escapes urban strife for the quiet life of farming. He and his fifteen-year-old daughter join in a United Nations PR event, but the Oklahoma-style land rush turns into a race against ruthless, armed competitors . . . and a corrupt politician determined to control this new land.


Misfits from around the world, willing to fight for a new life. Faces around him had a hungry look as they sized up the competition. They had waited a lifetime for this chance, and no one wanted to be too friendly with someone they might end up killing later in the day.

: The Sting of the Bee Trilogy are speculative sci-fi novels exploring a ‘What If’ scenario of a complete melting of the ice caps, caused by climate change. The series explores the impacts of humans on the Earth and the toll of overpopulation, particularly in an era of reduced landmass due to flooded seas. However, I was primarily interested in the consequences to human civilization of such a catastrophic event: the subsequent human migrations, societal upheaval, and clash of cultures. And the social chaos enabling political corruption.

For dramatic effect, I squeezed the timeframe of the Melt into one human’s lifespan by using a scientific theory that a tipping point, in which there is a sudden shift in the warm and cold ocean currents, could alter climates in specific regions. So I ‘pushed’ the Brazilian warm current past Antarctica to accelerate the pace of melting. With this catalyst, I was able to cause massive sea level rise of approximately 300 feet.

In the second novel in the trilogy, The Sting of the Bee, launching on 4-4-2018, 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.

WHY THIS TITLE?: Primarily, the title is a metaphor for what nature does when you mess with her, indicating climate change.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? To my knowledge, no one has ever used the de-iced continent of Antarctica as a setting. I consider the novel to be speculative science fiction, or eco-fiction/cli-fi, more on the Robert Heinlein/Margaret Atwood end of the sci-fi spectrum.

REVIEW COMMENTS: “Exhilarating fun, audacious in concept and convincing in execution.” – Jim Thomsen

“Off-beat global warming sci-fi…(with) sure pacing and sympathetic protagonists.” – Kirkus Reviews

E: K.E. Lanning is a scientist and writer. Born in Texas in 1957, she grew up near Houston, TX, (USA) in the small town of Friendswood, laced with white oyster shell roads and open fields dotted with huge live oaks—riding horses rather than bikes. But nearby, NASA’s space program shepherded thoughts of astrophysics into her head.

Lanning received a bachelor’s degree in Physics in 1979 from Stephen F. Austin St. University in Nacogdoches, TX and a MBA in 1986 from the University of Houston. In her geophysics career, science met art—imaging landscapes beneath the surface of the earth. Lanning owned and directed an art gallery in Houston, TX, fascinated with curating thought-provoking shows with new and proven artists.

A life-long fan of science fiction, Lanning has always been intrigued by the multi-dimensions of the genre, allowing the author to explore society, humanity, and our future, and bring the reader along for the ride. To reveal the inner workings of some of the best sci-fi authors in the business, she’s published a series of sci-fi author interviews in FUTURISM (OMNI) magazine, In the Author’s Universe: Sci-Fi Authors from a Writer’s Point of View, including authors Hugh Howey, Margaret Atwood, Andy Weir and Cixin Liu.

Her first novel was A Spider Sat Beside Her, a work of literary/speculative science fiction, with an eco-fiction emphasis, and was published in 2017. The next novel in the trilogy, The Sting of the Bee, launches 4-4-2018. Listen to the Birds is in progress, and will complete the trilogy, though each will be standalone works.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: 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. I wanted to throw characters into the fray, and follow their journeys through a maze of personal sacrifices, betrayals, and intrigue.


John Barrous opened his eyes in the dim light of the hotel room. A pleasant voice said, “John, wake up, it’s time to rise and shine.”

With a yawn, he turned to his phone. “I’m awake. Thanks, P.”

“I hope you slept well?”

He stared at the ceiling above the bed. “Not really.” John threw the covers back and sat on the side of the bed, looking dully at the band of pale morning light framing the top of the curtained window.

“John, I thought you might be interested in today’s news story on the Antarctic Land Rush.”

Scratching his head, he mumbled, “I guess.”

A smiling virtual newscaster appeared on the screen. “In our top story of the day, the stage is set for the Great Antarctic Land Rush. The final conference will be held today at the United Nations headquarters.” From the corner of the screen popped a 3-D video running on a continuous loop, showing the melting ice cap of Antarctica, the huge glaciers flowing to the ocean, breaking off into the sea until the continent was bare. “People from around the world will be signing up for the adventure of a lifetime—”

A dull pain pulsed in his head. “I’d like some quiet now,” he said, and the screen went blank. His hands trembled as he massaged his temples. He caught a whiff of brewing coffee, and rose to grab a cup. Clasping the warm cup in his hands, he gulped the coffee, closing his eyes as the hot liquid stung his throat.

With a sigh, he walked to the window of the room, edging the curtain open on one side. Blinking against the slanted rays of the sun, he gazed out over the port city of Summit, New Jersey. Across the street, a myriad of flags fluttered in front of the newly completed United Nations building. His nerves tingled at the sight.

To the east, the sea shimmered in the dawn light, broken only by the tallest skyscrapers still visible above submerged New York City. He sipped his coffee, and then shifted his gaze to the vast shanty town near the edge of the water. Tendrils of smoke rose from amidst ramshackle huts cobbled together from the scrap material washed onshore after the Melt.

The wealthy had fled the rising sea waters and built anew, but in the burgeoning lower classes, survival of the fittest had been their only choice. Massive refugee cities grew from the outcasts of society, abandoned on a shore of hardship. Years of pitiful conditions created an underclass filled with anger and resentment. Like stray dogs, savage gangs had proliferated, snatching crumbs from a world devastated by rising sea levels.

An emptiness punched him in the gut, and his lips parted like a drowning man trying to draw a breath. A moan escaped from the depths of his pain, and John glanced at his daughter Ginnie, snuggled in the other bed. He had not awakened her with his outburst.

Swaying, he turned back to the window, clutching the curtain. That underworld had murdered his beloved Helen.

LOCAL OUTLETS: BookNoFurther, 16 West Marketplace, Church Ave SW, Roanoke, VA

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon:,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

PRICE: $4.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback


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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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