Finding the right genre

What does this cover say?

I’ve always felt, while writing the first two novels of this Biome NE47 series, that I was attempting to create a science fiction scenario with frank literary aspirations.

That is, the characters in my books are dealing with a post-apocalyptic scenario within normal human parameters, as exemplified by their behaviour, their internal motivations, their revealed humanity. It’s probably the literary aspirations that are uppermost in my mind, as I use the science fiction scenario to look at people, and to describe the way a rural community works, here in Border Reiver country.

But an inquisitive hare on the cover doesn’t say ‘dystopia’ or ‘science fiction’ to a casual observer. Why is it there, and what’s it looking at?

Biome NE47 is all about the natural world, about the preservation of biodiversity, about humans finding their natural place within the biosphere, co-existing and living life to the full. The scenario, vast encompassing biome bubbles that prevent any escape, sounds dreadful. But the over-arching point is that Earth, our planet, is a biome, a complete biosphere from which there is no escape (in the near-future, at any rate), and we must accommodate to preserve life within that context.

Thus, not to be too pedantic, the community members of the rural Biome NE47 are a microcosm of Earth’s population, working towards sustainability. That’s my ‘apocalyptic’ vision.

It’s not utopian in the Panglossian sense; rather it’s a way, I hope, of looking at our future existence with a realistic perspective. We may well need to be rescued from ourselves.

And, at the same time, the hare is rescued as well.

By Larry Winger

Retired scientist, devoted diarist (AllendaleDiary.org), community-minded aspirant novelist, I've lived on a smallholding in the East Allen Valley for the past 30 years, delighting in watching our family grow up, in experiencing the development of our grandsons, and in taking care of our small flock of chickens and garden.

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