Donna Glee Williams, author of fantasy novel The Night Field, talks to Marjorie B. Kellogg, author of the science fiction dystopia Glimmer.
DONNA GLEE: Hi, Marjorie—
When I read a book, questions always bubble up that I wish I could ask the author. I’m delighted that our Climate Fiction Writers pairing gives me a chance to ask you about your impressive 2021 near-future dystopia Glimmer (DAW, 2021).
Glimmer is a compelling character, who’s driven by survival and a sense of loss. Please tell us where she comes from! Who or what inspired her?
Basically, a who AND a what. The ‘what’ was a technical need: writing about a time that hasn’t happened (quite) yet requires a good deal of backstory and world-building, so that the reader can settle into an unfamiliar future with confidence, not constantly having to ask, “What’s going on and where am I?”
As anyone who has ever written a near-future novel will tell you, the problem with that sub-genre is that “the future” keeps catching up with you in unexpected ways. Marjorie B. Kellogg can attest to that; while writing Glimmer, the world kept reminding her that the story she was creating was all too close to the one unfolding around us all.
Glimmer began not with a new Big Idea, but with what seems to me a tragically obvious one: climate change is upon us, and we are not going to fix it.
Author Marjorie B. Kellogg discusses the decade-long process of writing her new science fiction/climate fiction novel, Glimmer.
When we talk about climate change, too often it’s in remote, scientific terms or on a scale too vast for most people to connect with on a personal level (never mind all the complicating politics). By offering an entertaining and compelling yarn, I’ve tried to put a down-to-earth, human face on the disruption, violence, and suffering that climate change will bring.
This new cli-fi epic chronicles a future NYC wracked by climate change and follows the individuals who must make the most of what remains to survive.
It’s 2110, the Earth’s glaciers have melted, and there’s no climate fix in sight. As refugees stream inland from the inundated coasts, social structures and national economies are stressed to the point of fracture. Food production falters. Pandemics rage. Rising sea level and devastating superstorms have flooded much of Manhattan and wrecked its infrastructure.
Marjorie was presented with The Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatrical Design on Friday, May 2nd. The Robert L.B. Tobin Award honors those who have “achieved a career so distinguished in theatrical design that his or her work becomes an example to all designers of the beauty, feeling and empathy that a designer creates through true mastery of this art.”