Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Lisa Walker publishes romantic comedy cli-fi novel titled MELT in Australia in May

Australian writer Lisa Walker has a cli-fi novel coming out in May 2018  called ‘Melt’ which was written as part of a Masters in creative writing which looked at writing a romantic comedy about climate change.

She published an article in Australasian Journal of Popular Culture a few years ago about it. ‘Melt’ is her fifth novel, and is published by a small press, Lacuna, the others are all commercial ‘women’s’ fiction with mainstream publishers.

Lisa Walker‘s debut YA novel Paris Syndrome, set in Brisbane, will be published by HarperCollins in April 2018. 

Her novel Melt, a romantic cli-fi comedy about climate change, will be published by Lacuna in May 2018

Climate change has been called the most boring subject the science world has ever had to present. 

Despite media stunts such as nude lie-ins to draw attention to the issue, recent polls show that the urgency of public opinion in relation to climate change has waned. 

This article argues that popular culture such as genre fiction can be an important communicative device in responding to climate change. 

It examines how a climate change theme can be developed in fiction and why romance and, in particular, romantic comedy, may be a suitable genre to make this issue relevant to the reader by connecting a global issue to its local effects. 

Climate change poses particular challenges to an author. My novel-in-progress, Melt (2018), is about how these challenges may be met.


Chapter Fourteen: The krill issue
I am seated at a table with the scientists. Lucas is back in his favourite jeans and T-shirt and his book rests on the table next to him. He must be a keen reader. He introduces me to Maria, the krill woman. She is not small with waving legs as I had imagined. Maria is from Holland. She has smooth brown skin and shiny blonde hair cut in a straight fringe across her forehead. She is tall and shapely and seems devastatingly intelligent – scarily so. I resolve to avoid her if possible.
Maria and Lucas are having a rapid-fire conversation about ice-core samples. I know from Polar Fun for Kids that scientists drill deep holes into the ice to learn about past climates – the site was a little short on detail. My knowledge of ice-core samples isn’t enough to get in at the ground floor on this conversation.
‘One hundred and fifty per cent?’ says Maria.
Lucas nods, his beard going up and down. ‘In the last hundred and fifty years.’
What is it with scientists and beards? I try to imagine what he would be like without hair all over his face, but fail.
‘I knew it was bad, but I didn’t think carbon dioxide had gone up that much,’ says Maria.
Carbon dioxide. Now at least I know what we’re talking about – climate change. I think of Nathan Hornby and his climate science is crap comment. The Minister is at a table up the other end of the room with Mike, the station leader – fact-finding, no doubt. Adrian is perched on a chair at the same table. Of all the dining rooms in all the world, Adrian has to turn up here. At least I’ll be able to relax once he goes home tomorrow. It’s bad enough being Cougar, but having Adrian watch my performance is doing my head in. No doubt he will compare the two versions of Cougar in his head and find me lacking.
I open and shut my mouth a few times as Lucas and Maria continue their conversation. Rory glances my way and flickers his eyebrows. I know what he means. Cougar would not sit here mutely. Cougar would be the centre of attention. Cougar is like Alexis from Dynasty, she always makes her presence felt. I rack my brain to recall what I know about climate change, but suspect there is no way to dumb down this conversation enough for me to make a contribution. I now wish Mary was here. Annoying as she is, she would be able to brief me on the best tactic to take control of the situation.

Antarctica is getting hotter 

Summer Wright, hippie turned TV production assistant, organises her life down to the minute. And when her project-management-guru boyfriend, Adrian, proposes marriage — right on schedule — she will reach the peak of The Cone of Certainty.

At least, that’s the plan – until adventure-show queen Cougar Gale intervenes. Suddenly Summer is impersonating Cougar in Antarctica: learning glaciology and climate science on the fly, building a secret igloo, improvising scripts based on Dynasty, and above all trying not to be revealed as an impostor.
Summer finds it particularly hard to fool climate scientist Lucas Nilsson, who is babysitting the production crew. But Lucas is more focused on Adrian’s client Nathan Hornby — the science minister who thinks “climate science is crap” — and rumours of faked climate data.

With Adrian unexpectedly in Antarctica too, can Summer use her extreme project management skills to get Project Adrian back on track and make a success of “Cougar on Ice”? Was Lucas involved in the sudden disappearance of Minister Hornby during a blizzard? And what is The Krill Question anyway?

Antarctica — it gives you perspective …

No comments: