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Articles by Contributing Writer Andrew Liptak

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This story is part of Fix’s What’s Next Issue, which looks ahead to the ideas and innovations that will shape the climate conversation in 2022, and asks what it means to have hope now. Check out the full issue here.

Australian novelist Charlotte McConaghy opens her book Migrations on a bleak note: “The animals are dying,” she writes. “Soon we will be alone here.” The bestseller tells the story of scientist Franny Stone, who has left her life and husband behind to follow what’s believed to be the last flock of Arctic terns. McConaghy’s publisher didn’t market the novel as science fiction or a pre-apocalyptic thriller in which Franny sets out to solve climate change or save endangered birds. Instead, McConaghy uses the state of the environment as the background of a deeply personal tale about a woman revisiting past trauma. The critically acclaimed work, published in 2020, is an example of a trope once found exclusively in science fiction influencing the wider world. 

Examining the impact of Earth’s changing climate has long been a staple of science fiction. The genre is well suited... Read more