This story is part of Fix’s Climate-Fiction Issue, which explores how fiction can create a better reality. Check out the full issue here, including the short stories in Fix’s first-ever climate-fiction contest, Imagine 2200.
During the tumultuous summer of 2020, as fires torched the West, hurricanes pummeled the South, and protests roiled cities nationwide, people across America discovered a book about a teenager navigating life in a world undone by poverty, inequality, and corruption.
The book’s stark portrayal of society collapsing under the weight of climate change, economic malaise, police militarization, and government ineptitude struck a chord. The book hit the New York Times bestseller list, earned praise from pundits and podcasters, and was devoured by book clubs from Manhattan to Los Angeles.
What kept all those readers entranced wasn’t a memoir or a work of literary realism, but Octavia E. Butler’s seminal climate-fiction novel Parable of the Sower, which was set in 2024 — and published nearly three decades ago, in 1993.
Butler’s prescience about how our... Read more