Easton Author Publishes Well-Reviewed Novel on Climate Change


Local author Paul Briggs is releasing a new novel, Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise, on June 15. Published by Secant Publishing of Salisbury, Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise takes place in the near future and is the story of a rapid and drastic change in the climate, as experienced by a handful of characters.

Partly set on the Eastern Shore, Monsoonrise is the first of a planned two-part series loosely based on a novella written by the author.

Briggs will hold a reading and signing at the Talbot County Free Library in Easton on Monday, July 2, from 6:30 pm – 8 p.m. Coffee and pastries will be served. The Book Warehouse in the Queenstown Prime Outlets will also host a signing by the author on Saturday, July 21.

“Ron Sauder of Secant Publishing read the novella and wanted to see a book-length version that was at least partly focused on the Chesapeake Bay area,” said Briggs, author of the YA science fiction novels Locksmith’s Closet and Locksmith’s Journeys.

“This area has so much low-lying ground and many parts of it are subsiding, so there’s some obvious relevance. I planned on it being a standalone novel, but as the story grew and changed I saw that it was going to have to be divided into two parts.”

Like the original novella, “The Day The Ice Cap Died,” Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise begins with the Arctic Ocean being free of sea ice for several weeks. This triggers a chain reaction in the weather systems of the northern hemisphere, bringing prolonged, torrential rains every fall that cause devastating floods in much of the central United States. At the same time, better computer projections make it possible to predict exactly when the sea will rise to cover a given piece of land, with disastrous results for property owners on the coast.

Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise is an example of cli-fi, a new subgenre of science fiction focusing on future climate change and human responses to it. In this it joins novels by such diverse authors as Paolo Bacigalupi, Barbara Kingsolver, and Kim Stanley Robinson.

A review in Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association, describes Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise as “a solid addition to cli fi collections,” saying that “the characters are very believable and could easily be any reader and his or her family trying to make sense out of society’s slow decline after the catastrophic events.” Kirkus Reviews says “This epic tale of global pandemonium wisely centers on accessible characters.”

D. Donovan, senior editor at the Midwest Book Review,writes, “Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise is a top recommendation for cli-fi readers seeking more depth than the usual approach to life-threatening environmental changes.” Gareth D. Jones of SF Crowsnest writes, “The plot moves along breezily, cataloguing the on-going effects of global warming and socio-political consequences for mankind in general along with the personal consequences for the characters… All in all, this was an enjoyable book and I’d quite happily read the next volume to see what becomes of them all.”

Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise will be available in both print and ebook format through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, other retail channels and local booksellers. The 374-page paperback edition sells for $15.95 (ISBN 978-1-944962487).


Letters to Editor

  1. Exciting to discover an old KCHS classmate doing great work in the fiction game – congratulations, Paul! Looking forward to reading some cli fi (something I must admit I have never done before)!

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