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?” But exposition can be static, badly disrupting the narrative flow. I wanted the characters to provide the necessary information through action and dialogue. Thus, Glimmer’s memory loss: if my protagonist can’t remember how the world got to the way it is as the story begins, the people around her must fill in by remembering it for her, gradually and as needed.
Later, as Glimmer regains her past bit by bit, her recollections become much more personal, but by then we have learned the world well enough to fit the personal into the more general Big Picture of flooded Manhattan 2110. But losing your past dislocates your sense of self as well as your place in the world. It leaves you vulnerable to missteps and misunderstandings, some perhaps comical but also potentially fatal. It’s a kind of disability.
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. Even if we could muster the global will to try, it’s likely too late to succeed. So how are we going to live with it?
Read more of Marjorie B. Kellogg’s thoughts on the process of writing Glimmer on John Scalzi’s Whatver blog.
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. Its residents have mostly fled, but a few die-hards have bet their survival on the hope that digging in and staying local is a safer strategy. From DAW / Penguin Random House website.
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“Kellogg expertly lays out her plot, unravelling information at a deliberate pace and keeping readers invested as Glimmer grapples with her identity. The cinematic worldbuilding and wonderfully nuanced characters set this well-rounded eco-thriller apart. This is a winner.”
– Publishers Weekly