I was asked last week to write an essay about Australian climate fiction for the Danish weekly Weekendavisen, it’s here if you happen to read Danish: Katastrofen og Litteraturen
If you don’t, never fear! The English-language version of the essay is now up at LitHub. It contains a good but non-comprehensive reading list on the subject, so it’s been great to see that being shared and discussed.
I also chatted briefly with RN’s The Book Show about the fires – the audio is not great but the segment is online here, and includes some lovely shoutouts to fireys and the Authors for Fireys auctions.
As part of that fundraising drive, I auctioned off some of my prints to raise money for the CFS Foundation, and was really thrilled to be able to contribute… in the end the auction has raised over half a million dollars which is just incredible! Huge thanks to the organisers and all the writers and artists involved.
As if news of destruction to habitat and homes, the awful death toll (33 as I write, six of those firefighters) and losses were not enough, we are also dealing constantly with denialist reactions to this crisis, the pathetic responses of a corrupt and reckless government, and a lot of irresponsible reporting in the Murdoch press and online, designed to spread disinformation. It is hard to avoid despair at times. It is hard to maintain the ‘optimism of the will’ that turns fury and grief into action. However, the evidence of cultural change at work is everywhere too. One of the things I keep coming back to is the way that so many people are stepping up and helping each other now, volunteering endless hours and resources to offer assistance to strangers. Active civil society, pushes for public accountability, and cultures of reciprocity emerging in the crisis are all deeply encouraging. I know that we can turn this work into a re-engaged and renewed democracy. Activists, artists and writers all over the world are giving so much energy towards making our time count, making us better able to face what we need to face and change what we need to change. I feel less isolated in this struggle, less despondent, every day.