Saturday, August 4, 2018

Bill McKibben read from his ''cli-fi lite'' novel RADIO FREE VERMONT on July 27 in the hot and firery summer of 2018

Bill McKibben read from his ''cli-fi lite'' novel RADIO FREE VERMONT on July 27 in the hot and firery summer of 2018

Environmentalist, educator and author Bill McKibben read from his cli-fi novel, “Radio Free Vermont” at 7:30 p.m. on July 27 at the Paul Smith’s College.
Tickets were just $10 for the public, and free for PSC alumni and students.
Books were  available for purchase, with a signing to follow.
For tickets, visit the Adirondack Center for Writing website,
This event was presented by the Adirondack Center for Writing and Paul Smith’s College.
About Bill McKibben
First of all, Bill is a fan of cli-fi novels and movies and a support of the cli-fi novelists and film directors. Also note: In 2014, Bill McKibben was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the “alternative Nobel.” His 1989 book “The End of Nature” is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change and has appeared in 24 languages. He’s gone on to write a dozen more books.
He is a founder of, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized twenty thousand rallies around the world in every country save North Korea, spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, and launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement.
The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, and holds honorary degrees from many colleges and universities.
Foreign Policy named him to their inaugural list of the world’s most important global thinkers, and the Boston Globe said he was “probably America’s most important environmentalist.”
A Harvard alum, he is a former staff writer for the New Yorker, and he writes frequently for a wide variety of publications around the world, including the New York Review of Books, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone.
He lives in Vermont in the mountains above Lake Champlain with his wife, the essayist  and novelist Sue Halpern, where Bill spends as much time as possible outdoors.
In 2014, biologists honored him by naming a new species of woodland gnat — Megophthalmidia mckibben – in his honor.

As you spend a few last hours this summer in your Adirondack chair under a shady canopy of leaves — with that feeling of autumn’s imminence causing you to contemplate decline, aging, and the end of civilization — you might consider distracting yourself with some “climate fiction”  dubbed “cli-fi” by its coiner. Climate fiction is a recent modulation of environmental fiction, and, perhaps surprisingly, it’s not all doom and gloom. Here I recommend a terrific   novel by Bill McKibben .

You can fly through this wickedly funny   romp in a mere afternoon. It’s a wonder that Bill McKibben still has a sense of humor after over thirty years and fifteen-odd books sounding the alarm about climate change. His 1989 book, The End of Nature, remains a landmark work, while his 2010 book, Eaarth: Making Life on a Tough Planet,offers an updated assessment of how we will have to cope with our changing world. Though he continues to write, McKibben has in recent years turned to organizing on an international scale, and during many months on the road, he began this novel, his first. He has called it his “homesick love letter to Vermont.”
The premise: local radio broadcaster Vern Barclay sort-of-accidentally gets involved in a protest prank against a new Wal-Mart (it involves sewage). The next thing he knows, he’s wanted for domestic terrorism, hiding out in a safe-house with two unlikely co-conspirators. Vern decides it’s time for a little creative resistance, and he uses his fifty years of experience in talk radio to devise a hastily hatched movement: Vermont secession.
It’s never entirely serious; it’s more of a radio-driven thought experiment. But Vern and his pals get those feisty Vermonters riled up, and the plot spins into a kooky celebration of states’ rights, local economies, neighborliness, chain saw skills, and the responsibilities of an engaged citizenry. Venal politicians and hapless law enforcement play a satisfyingly predictable role. What does this all have to do with climate change? Well, you’ll see.
Meanwhile, you can enjoy references to Vermont local beers on almost every page, as well as the only chase scene in all literature perpetrated on cross-country skis.

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