Monday, April 16, 2012

The genesis of Jim Laughter's ''cli fi'' novel ''POLAR CITY RED''

In April of 2012, Jim Laughter's cli fi novel POLAR CITY RED was released worldwide and available
on a variety of reading platforms, from ebook formats to old-fashioned printed paperback. The book tells the story of a group of Americans eking out a life of sorts in the remote parts of Alaska in 2075 AD, when
climate change has turned the Lower 48 into a vast wasteland and those who have survived have trekked
north to find shelter in a network of polar cities. It's not a pretty picture, despite the pretty picture on the cover -- very well-designed by Dan Case in Texas, by the way -- and the story that Laughter tells is gripping and prophetic. This really could be our future, if we are not careful. Life in polar cities? It could happen. Let's hope it never does.

How did the book take shape? It's a long and involved story, the book's genesis and backstory, but it basically happened like this: Dan Bloom, the founder of the Polar Cities Research Project in 2006, which wanted to probe into the future possibilities of life in polar cities up north, and in Tasmania and New Zealand as well, come the climapocalypse, spent 4 years looking for a novelist to write a book about life in a polar city in the distant future. He wanted to set the story in 2500 AD, since that was always his time frame for the
work he was doing. But through a series of lucky encounters online, and with the serendipitous introductiion of Jim Laughter by fellow Oklahoma novelist Charles A. Sasser, Dan met Jim online via Chuck in late August of 2011.

Dan explains: "I was looking for a writer of a polar city novel for 4 years, and placed HELP WANTED ads on my blog and on climate forums for years but I never could find anyone who had the time or inclination to write the kind of novel I had in mind. Through Chuck Sasser, I met Jim Laughter. We emailed back and forth for a few days, and really, in the space of about a week, Jim agreed to try his hand at writing a sci fi novel about polar cities, speculative fiction, a thriller, a good yarn. Jim had a track record with several books already to his name, some of them sci fi, some of them non-fiction reportage, and I felt Jim was the man to write the book I had been dreaming of for four years."

''The book POLAR CITY RED is entirely Jim's book. He wrote it, he plotted it out, he created the characters, he wrote it. It's his story, his theme, his ideas, his everything. The only thing I did was to serve
as a kind of midwife, er, mid-husband for the book's arrival and due date.''

"Congratulations to Jim Laughter! He has written a book that is more than prophetic: it goes where no book
has ever gone before, and while it's entertainment on one very important level  -- in other words, it's a great read! -- on another level, Jim's novel serves as a blueprint for the future, and I am sure the CIA and the Homeland Security Departnebt will be reading it, too, not to mention President Obama! It's that important of a book."

"And thanks to Chuck Sasser of Tulsa who was the godfather of this cross-Pacific team effort! Without Chuck introducing me to Jim, POLAR CITY RED never would have happened. Life is amazing, yes!"

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