Over the summer, at an author talk in support of my novel, Ecological Memory, somebody asked me how and why the post-fossil-fuel world I call for will be worth the inevitable hassle involved–certain things becoming more difficult an expensive.
The question becomes even more urgent when applied to my book specifically, in which the end of fossil fuel use is precipitated by disaster. I do not advocate disaster, but it seemed a plausible way to write the story.
So what’s good about that story?
Here’s a passage from a work in progress that expresses it well–bear in mind this is fiction, characters looking back on a history that hasn’t happened yet.
Not that the new society was post-apocalyptic in any but a technical sense. There was once again justice and order and mixed drinks served with little paper umbrellas, not that Elzy liked those. There were careers and national elections and stuff posted on the internet that shouldn’t be, and if none of it worked exactly the same way as it had before, that was alright with Elzy, who didn’t remember much from back then anyway.
There were even a few advantages. For example, when the fossil fuel industry collapsed in the economic chaos of the pandemic, switching to local, sustainable energy sources suddenly got a lot easier. Since then, conservation had, for the first time, become more than the art of losing slowly. People grieved their past. They no longer needed to grieve their future.Ecological Memory, by Caroline Ailanthus
They no longer needed to grieve their future.
Sounds nice, doesn’t it?