Wild Authors: Susan M. Gaines

This month’s spotlight is on Susan M. Gaines, who wrote Carbon Dreams, her first published novel – and she has just completed another. Her short stories and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals, such as the North American Review and the Missouri Review, and in the anthologies Best of the West V and Sacred Ground: Writings About Home. She studied chemistry and oceanography before a love for literature lured her away from the lab, and her book, Echoes of Life: What Fossil Molecules Reveal about Earth History (Oxford University Press, 2009), employs narrative and literary prose to report on research in organic geochemistry. Currently she holds a post as writer-in-residence and co-director of the Fiction Meets Science program at the University of Bremen in Germany. Despite having spent much of her adult life abroad and found homes in Uruguay and Germany, Gaines regularly returns to her roots in northern California. Carbon Dreams was published in 2001 and is set in the 1980s; it is

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Imagining Water, # 18: Writing the Future of Water

Science fiction writers create stories that take place in the future and include inventive settings and imaginative elements such as new universes and societies, time travel and extraterrestrial beings. American writer Robert Heinlein (1907 – 1988), often considered the “dean of science fiction writers” and author of classics, Stranger in a Strange Land and Starship Troopers, referred to the genre as “realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present, and on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method.” Effective science fiction challenges us to examine the physical, moral and political consequences of new technologies and scientific inventions as well as aspects of governance, society and human behavior. As global warming and climate change have become an increasingly important part of our collective consciousness, a number of science fiction writers have imagined how future worlds will function without adequate sources of water, the fundamental requirement for life. Frank Herbert: Dune Dune by

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