Genre: Speculative fiction, Thriller & Suspense
Publisher: The Book Guild
Publication date: September 28, 2020
Length: 90,000 words
When a clandestine climate engineering effort to fix global warming goes horribly wrong, can the world unite to save itself from extinction? Prof. Bill McGuire’s spine-chilling story, closely mirroring current world events and realistically predicting the near future, shook me up well and hard.
The knowledge that “geoengineering” or “climate engineering” is a real thing and scientists are conducting small-scale outdoor experiments to see if global temperatures can be brought down magnifies the impact of this book. It could really happen, you know!
Skyseed begins in 2028, some years after the coronavirus pandemic has ended, leaving Britain (and other countries) in an economic decline. Global warming has reached alarming proportions, yet many world leaders, especially the US President, indulge in political whataboutery and deny the existence of climate change. The UK, too, is not doing enough to cut back on carbon emissions. Does this sound familiar?
In the aftermath of a volcanic explosion, scientists around the world discover mysterious spherical particles in the ash samples taken from the air. Little do they know that powerful forces are willing to kill to keep the truth about these particles hidden.
What follows is a heart-stopping account of how people find out what those particles are, why they are in the stratosphere, and how big of a mess the planet has been plunged into.
There’s no happy ending to this grim story, although the author has allowed us a sliver of hope on the last page.
Skyseed spans a total of 25-30 years, describes the consequences of meddling with the climate in a precise and clinical manner, and does not indulge in hysterics. The author shows rather than tells, and you can feel the impending sense of doom together with a frustrating helplessness over events beyond your control.
It’s tragic and horrifying–more so because the way our real-life world leaders are behaving, something like Skyseed could very well come to pass.
(I received an e-ARC from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review.)
Synopsis (from Reedsy Discovery)
Sometimes, when you’re in a hole, it’s best to stop digging. This applies as much to messing with the climate as anything else, except even more so.
Jane Haliwell put her head in her hands. To tell the truth, she was still in shock. All the samples she had taken from inside and around the lab contained the enigmatic spheres in huge numbers. She had only had a brief time to think about the implications, but she was pretty sure already what was going on.
For the first time in the history of the world, it was literally raining carbon. Long before it stopped, the guilty would pay, but so would the innocent…
About Bill McGuire
Bill McGuire is an academic, blogger, broadcaster, activist and popular science and speculative fiction writer. He is Professor Emeritus of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at University College London, a co-director of the New Weather Institute, and a patron of Scientists for Global Responsibility.