The stories range from classic dystopia to allegory to biting satire, all with a warming world as a driving force behind the narrative. The lead story, Eric Sipple’s “She Says Goodbye Tomorrow,” tackles the impact of the warming on winemakers who see the climate slowing killing their legacy, though family tensions play their usual insidious role. Miranda Doerfler’s “In Between the Light and the Dark” demonstrates a frightening outcome to climate change as an opportunity for murderous authoritarianism. And in “Haute Mess,” Brody skewers the fashion industry and commercial enterprise in general, which is ready to appropriate anything, including a climate disaster, to influence the all-important decision of what to put in our armoires. Continue reading
Lighthouse Island tells the story of Nadia Stepan, who is discarded by her parents at the age of four in a hot, arid, dusty world of the future that must resemble the Texas landscape of the author’s San Antonio home. Instead of a desert, however, Nadia’s world is a bleak urban dystopia, an ugly ecumenopolis governed by massive, competing bureaucracies that fire real bullets at each other. The waifish Nadia is a survivor, adapting to challenges with a sociopathic cleverness. Needing a purpose to her life, she decides to walk to a resort called “Lighthouse Island,” located in a Pacific Northwest populated by savage hippies. Along the way, she meets the man of her dreams, who demonstrates that even dystopias can offer up miracles. Continue reading
Museums, historic ship owners, and preservationists in Washington State have called on the state’s congressional delegation to support a bill that could lead to a special maritime heritage area covering the coast and Puget Sound. Thirty-two members of the House–21 Democrats and 11 Republicans–are co-sponsoring HR 445, the National Heritage Area Act of 2013. The bill would authorize a National Heritage Area Program, which may include a new Maritime Washington National Heritage Area celebrating the maritime history of the state. None of the bill’s co-sponsors are from Washington State.
National Heritage Areas are designated by Congress to highlight the historical importance of specific geographic locations in the U.S. Although 39 National Heritage Areas already exist, HR 445 would formally define heritage areas and set out a formal process for creating one. The areas are administered by the National Park Service; most are located east of the Mississippi River. A similar proposal to create a heritage area near the mouth of the Columbia River died after local property owners argued the law might infringe on their property rights. Continue reading
An automated signals monitor on a BES satellite sent Kilel more information via her minds-eye. A live video feed was operating on the edge of the wildlife refuge. The monitor gave a GPS location, and Kilel eyed the refuge in the direction of the coordinates. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary. The video feed was set to update on a new priv-chan, and Kilel could not see what was on the feed. Kilel ordered a scan of com company records, and the scan reported that Anne Penn had purchased the priv. Kilel cursed silently; the com companies were in a constant battle with BES over encrypted private channels. Enterprises bought them to protect trade secrets and negotiations. Individuals bought them to hide everything from illicit affairs to criminal conspiracies. BES regarded the channels as subversive and a nuisance, though they were perfectly legal, provided they weren’t used for banned activities. Abuse was rampant. The channels were also expensive, and Anne Penn wouldn’t have spent so much money unless she had a reason to hide something. She’s lying about communication with her father. Why else would she buy a priv?
Kilel stared at Anne. “What’s going on in the refuge?”
Anne swallowed. “What do you mean?”
Kilel struggled to keep a wave of contempt from showing on her face. I ought to arrest Anne Penn as an accessory to an environmental crime, but I don’t have backup and Mike Schmidt’s reaction is unpredictable. Kilel started for the GPS coordinates of the video feed’s origin. Anne and Mike followed. A dusty haze hung a inch or so off the burned ground of the refuge, still marked with small evidence flags. Kilel followed a path of beaten grass used by Anne and Mike. Movement in a tree on her right caught her eye. She gaped as a male Klamath magpie with its red breast patch flew across her field of vision, screeching in alarm. “What in hell…” Continue reading