If tales of pirates can help us understand the past, could they warn us about the future…?
As I wrote Raging Gail, stories were brought to my attention from my readers about the situation off the coast of Somalia during that time. While the older histories helped explain the workings and failures of mercantilism, the modern tales of pirates showed us the limits of globalization, as both the past and the future had something to say about those on the margin finding success despite the system(s) not having a place for them.
And the future did not look bright back when the novel was shared online starting in 2011. It was at that time that awareness about climate change was becoming more pressing. In fact, Schwartz and Randal’s paper An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security for the Department of Defense in 2003 proved to be the spark for what became Red Jenny. There’s a passage in that paper that was such a thunder strike, it hit me with considerable force and formed the main characters of the work almost instantly the moment I came across it.
The novel’s post-online history was a bit odd. It was only after Alt Together Now that I gave serious thought to releasing a Kindle edition of the project, and started prepping the novel for a September 2020 release. During the initial work on readying that edition, the COVID crisis reared its head, which led me to believe that a book about climate change would get lost amidst a popular pandemic. However, the bellicose language used as the borders with Canada were closed suddenly made the book even more vital, so it went back on the schedule quickly.
Which makes what happened here a great argument for controlling every aspect of publication, the ability to respond to conditions on the ground quickly. Having the ability to get your work out there not only when you personally want it available, but when the moment calls for it out on the street, is one of the greater arguments in favor of being able to do that.
Note that we’re talking about publishing in an instant; writing in an instant, on the other hand…