Novel 'O Man of Clay.' After sea-level rise.

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County Durham, United Kingdom
'O Man of Clay,' set in Hartlepool and Siberia in the near future while the tundra is thawing and the sea level rising, was published in January 2020 by Stairwell Books.

Tuesday 17 March 2020

David Millar The Ministry for Ignoring Climate Change

Set on an island off the West coast of Canada and in Ottawa, this novel is a fictionalisation of a still-controversial geoengineering project. A Canadian cross between ‘Yes Minister’ and ‘Whiskey Galore’ but with bigger, climate-affected fish to fry, it is an antidote to current enforced self-isolation and makes the argument for community action to combat climate change. Though its satire is gently mocking, make no mistake, there are claws here. All human nature is exposed in the world of the city and the tiny island community eking out an existence on the edge. Pieter Breugel the Elder would approve the panoply of characters. Though the jury is out on the science, the implications of words and actions of politicians with a tenuous understanding of their effect on lives outside their bubble, are chillingly, if darkly humorously, portrayed.

The fast pace and cast of characters of all shades of green and those not even faitly reminiscent of it, motivated by degreess of self interest on a sliding scale from justifiable to wholly unjust and unforgiveable alongside the increasingly frenetic twists and turns would make a great movie too. Naturally, 'Whiskey Galore' for the climate crisis came to mind.

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