Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Neagtive book review turns book packager into optimist

Text by Albert Walton, Seattle Washington

Be careful what you wish for. When I set out last year to produce a sci fi novel

about climate chaos in the future and was lucky enough online to find a writer

to pen the book, I expected a big advance and huge royalty payments

later on, not for me, but for the writer whose name appears on

the book's cover.

But there was no big advance, not even a small advance, and with only

21 copies of the novel sold on Amazon in 6 months, there have

been precious few royalty payments for the man who spent a year

researching and writing the book.

When I say ''be careful what you wish for'' (scare quotes intended), I must confess that I had no idea what kind of

negative, malicious, cruel book review would come in for the book -- from a newspaper critic no less -- and I was not

prepared at all. And I, of course, did not share the review with the book's author, nor do I intend to. (I hope he is not

reading this online.)

So let this be a cautionary tale for would-be novelists and book packagers: if you get involved

in the book business as either an agent or a writer, be prepared for a

negative review like this:

Dear Sir,,

"I have read the climate novel you sent me and which you want my newspaper to review, and to be honest, I must tell you, it is one

of the worst books I've come

across this year. I get over 20 books a week in the mail from would be novelists and authors. Your book takes the cake.

The characters are one-dimensional, the dialogue is stilted and often

unintentionally hilarious, the situations are merely a series of cliches derived from any number of other 'end of the world'stories. There is

little about the book that appears to be truly original, or is presented with any sort of literary skill beyond the most rudimentary -- the book's preface rant is so ham-fisted and clumsy that it's almost funny."

There was more: "I understand your personal stake in this book, as the book packager who seems to be emotionally invested in the 'ideas' in it. But that is all that it is

-- a single vague idea, and not a terribly original nor a very carefully considered at that, about a single eventuality that might be extrapolated from the science and speculation that surrounds the topic of global climate change, that has been churned into a slapdash series of anecdotes about uninteresting characters and their unimaginative


After all that, the "critic" eased off a bit and added: "Perhaps there is a decent work of fiction that could be crafted from

this little idea of yours. And if you and your author are pleased with

the results of your novel, and releasing it to the world, then, really,

that's all that matters.''

Small comfort, that last sentence. But yes, both the author of the book and I are pleased with the results of his book, and even though sales

are few and far between, and the critical reaction has been, at best, lukewarm, even damning, it's true that what mostly matters is that we took an idea and turned out a readable novel around it, even if we haven't found many readers yet. With a review like the one above, I must say, I am quite

taken aback. But producing a book, and for the author who wrote the book, releasing it as an ebook to the world via Amazon was worthwhile for us, despite the cold hard complaints of the sole newspaper review to come in so far.

Funny, since I have not told the author about this negative reaction to his novel, he is already hard at work writing both a prequel and a sequel, he told me the other day in an email, with his eyes set on a sci fi trilogy.

Did the review hurt? You bet it did. Do I plan to soldier on with books two and three? You bet I do. Am I stupid? Maybe.
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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Climate activist says God told him to prepare ''polar cities'' for survivors of ''climate chaos'' in 2121 AD


Contact: Founder & Director -- The Polar Cities Research Institute (Google for info)
FOR MEDIA INTERVIEWS, contact email above.

Climate activist says God told him to prepare world for ''polar cities'' for survivors of ''climate chaos'' in 2121 AD
Self-described modern-day "Jeremiah" says prayerful vision led to insight into the need for polar cities for survivors of climate chaos in future

New novel POLAR CITY RED available on amazon etc tells fictional story of family in a polar city in Alaska in year 2075; some call it ''cli fi'', others call it ''sci fi'' -- whatever it is, the novel is a climate thriller, entertaining read and full of God's truth as well
NEW YORK -- A pioneering American climate activist, Danny Bloom, says

that in a prayerful vision four years ago, God told him to prepare

humankind for ''polar cities" for survivors of "climate chaos" in 2121

A.D. Calling himself a modern-day Jeremiah, the soft-spoken climate

activist, 63, says that by 2121 A.D., billions of people will die in

massive human die-offs due to devastating climate change impacts of

excessive heat waves, widespread drought, and a dire lack of food,

fuel and shelter for billions of climate refugees.

"I see dead people," Bloom says. "Billions of dead people. But at the
same time, I see hope, too, for those
remaining remnants surviving in polar cities."

Bloom, a 1971 graduate of Tufts University, has been discussing,

planning, designing and pre-siting "polar cities" for global warming

survivors since 2008, when

New York Times reporter Andrew C. Revkin interviewed him about his work (google "dot earth + polar cities" for link).

Bloom believes
that there are no solutions to fixing the problems of global warming,
and that it is already too late to stop what he calls The Great
Interruption, when humankind will die in massive die-offs in the
distant future, leaving only remnants of humans alive
in polar cities scattered across the northern regions of Earth (and in
New Zealand and Australia, too).

"God told me in a prayerful vision that only man-made 'polar cities'
will save the human species from extinction," Bloom says. "I am an
optimist and I have hope that polar cities will serve God's purpose."

In addition to promoting ''polar cities'' as the only real and ''workable''solution to climate change problems, Bloom also commissioned a Christian writer in Oklahoma to write a religious novel about polar cities titled "Polar City Red".

"Jim Laughter's novel is the first literary novel to ever talk about polar
cities, and it deserves a wide readership, both as entertainment and as serious and prayerful thinking. Time is running out,'' Bloom says,

''and the time to start discussing, planning, pre-siting and even pre-building polar cities is now.

Brief synopsis of ''Polar City Red'' -- ''It's 2075 in Alaska and

global warming has destroyed the Earth's ecosystems worldwide, and

mllions of people have had to trek north to find shelter polar cities

in the Arctic region. Not everyone gets in: there are Godless

scavengers out on the tundra murdering for good and supplies. It's a

character-driven novel, and a fast read. And it's more than just

explosions and murders. And it ends on a note of hope and prayerful

Christian reflection."

Mr. Laughter's 200-page novel explores how faith and religion will survive in a
post-apocalyptic world, and asks questions like: "Would mankind's sins
of the past follow him into the future?"

While it paints a picture that is "not a pretty picture", it also
ends on a note in the final chapter of hope and moral optimism. So it's a positive book, and not a downer,
as one might expect from the theme. In fact, Laughter offers hope for humankind.

Read ''Polar City Red'', set in the near future after God's wrath and man's stupidity destroys the ecosystem of the Earth. It's science

fiction -- for now!