Sadly, the book is now OOP, out of print.
Now in 2017, she tells my colleague Mary Woodbury in Canada in a recent interview on Mary's excellent website: "As we move into the era of actual climate change, struggling through the mayhem and trying to keep step with the ludicrous out-of-control experiment we’ve wrought on the earth’s biogeochemical systems–to paraphrase the final lines of Carbon Dreams—novelists can’t help but write about climate change even if they are not writing about climate change."
Gaines' new novel is titled The Last Naturalist and the Terrorists’ Daughter, and is not about climate change, she told Mary, adding: "It is set in the recent past, not speculative. But it is narrated by a 22-year-old at the turn of the millennium, and climate change and biodiversity loss inform his character on every level: his perception of nature, his relationships with his parents and grandparents, his hopes for the future and his emerging understanding of the many ways in which history shadows and limits it. As climate change becomes our daily reality, one might think that this whole discussion about a genre of fiction about it would become moot. And yet, even as I write this, the American media reports the devastation wrought by the latest rounds of weather mayhem without addressing climate change, and I have to marvel at our capacity to ignore it. So perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps this discussion about the novelist’s role in reflecting on climate change is not moot at all. Perhaps we should all be heeding Amitav Ghosh’s highly visible but somewhat belated call to arms.”
Susan M. Gaines (Writer in Residence)
Creative writing, science in fiction
Werdegang ‒ Curriculum VitaeSusan Gaines studied organic chemistry and oceanography in her native California, earning an M.S. and doing doctoral research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, before abandoning the laboratory to pursue her vocation as a writer. Her fiction is informed by her knowledge and interest in the natural sciences, and her non-fiction science writing bears the mark of a novelist. She has also worked as a freelance editor and translator of literary and academic texts, and as an instructor of creative writing, English, and Spanish (as second languages).
She first came to northern Germany as a fellow at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg in 2002, and took up the post of "Writer in Residence" in the English-speaking cultures department in 2011.
She is one of the founding directors of the “Fiction Meets Science” research collaborative.
ForschungFiction Meets Science: The World of Science under the Literary Microscope
Novel-in-progress: The Last Naturalist and the Terrorists' Daughter