Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Scott T. Starbuck mesmerizes with poetry collection titled HAWK ON WIRE (published in 2017) -- 102 pages

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Scott T. Starbuck

Scott T. Starbuck

Scott T. Starbuck mesmerizes with poetry collection titled HAWK ON WIRE

Hawk on Wire is a record of ecological disaster caused by global heating, and informed prophecy of what will happen unless humanity changes from fossil fuels to renewable energy in the next five years from 2017 to 2022. The book acknowledges widespread complicity of those in developed nations focusing only [on] the language of hunger, sex, territory and imagines How We Stopped Corporate Psychopaths From Cooking Planet Earth. These poems reach into the vulnerable area of the human psyche Franz Kafka wrote about: The dream reveals the reality, which conception lags behind. That is the horror of life - the terror of art. Starbuck blends history, climate science updates, personal activism, and poetic imagination to paint that reality currently affecting island nations, millions of current climate refugees, and vanishing ecological community we share in land, sea, and sky. The book includes a series of imagined ghosts speaking about climate change (Mark Twain, Socrates, Ed Abbey,  Galileo, Bukowski, T'ao Ch'ien, Rilke, Orwell, and Martha, the last passenger pigeon who died 1914 in Cincinnati Zoo

The hum of steel rails was the song //foretelling my death and yours, / my captivity and your insincerity instead of / no trains, no tracks, no cages

Andrea Rosenblum wrote: The book’s cover art and concept is pure genius as it relates to the global warming slash climate change theme. The mythological depiction is entirely apt although there’s a shred of familiarity that’s haunting me. (Got it! “Icarus at Cape Canaveral” from Ralph Thompson’s the denting of a wave)

Apathy and a futile splinter of hope runs through the fleeting time (remaining) prophesied by this collection. Its prescient, existential economy of words is strikingly succinct and if a poet’s got to be grousing about something these days, I should nominate Scott Starbuck’s eco-gestalt of Hawk on Wire for the prize. Being the essential non-squint in a quandary that I am, scratching my hoary-old scalp a lot of the time through this gift of forecast; the Native-American speak of its oft times, Gary Snyder-like, lyrical narrative, mystified me by its myriad references to the nature of spirits. For me, science and spirituality are mutually exclusive.

Imagery is generally reflective and parallels are set against the bucolic, and the wilds of the Northwest evergreen, salmon running rainforest, memoir America. I had to stop counting my favorite poems and passages on account of the number I had winnowed out became, so overwhelmingly, a majority of the content.

Use of the prominent voices of persons-past, e.g., Twain, Galileo, Bukowski, were effective in that the dead were attuned to the contemporary plight of Planet Earth. So much philosophic-intellect goes into these characters and their hypothetical quotes. I’m surprised the famous specters had nothing to say for the trash orbiting the earth, the wreckage of our coral reefs, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, etcetera. Hopefully those crucial issues will be addressed in Carbonfish, Starbuck’s upcoming collection.

In new ''cli-fi trends'' column, an interview with gay, Jewish novelist [and NPR guest] Sam Miller about his cli-fi debut "Blackfish City"

In new ''cli-fi trends'' literary column, an interview with the gay, Jewish novelist [and NPR guest!] Sam Miller about his distant future cli-fi debut "Blackfish City."

SCOTT SIMON: The breaks is this disease that's eating into the society. I've got to get you to talk about that.
SAM MILLER: Sure. As a gay man of a certain age who came up in the sort of period when, you know, gay identity was inseparable from thinking about the specter of HIV/AIDS and where there was this sort of, for example, drummed into my head in health class that having gay sex would lead to you contracting a fatal illness and dying immediately - thinking about HIV/AIDS as this formative element of what we now think of as LGBTQIA identity and also as this sort of, like, incredibly crucial moment where communities came together and fought back in really powerful ways, and folks sort of, like, came together and forced treatment to be developed, forced political changes, forced a sort of sea change in how we think about things. And so I wanted to imagine a disease that could do some of those same things, that could - that was a terrifying nightmare, but that also served as a way to bring folks together and enabled them to sort of access power that they didn't know they had.
SIMON: You started out to be a butcher in Hudson, Nnew York...
MILLER: I did.
SIMON: Well, how do you get from that to this?
MILLER: Well, so I, you know, I was a third-generation Jewish meat butcher. My father was a second generation Jewish meat butcher. His father,my grandfather in Hudson, was also a Jewish meat butcher. Our family  ran a meat butcher shop in Hudson, but the butcher shop closed down when I was 16 when Walmart came to town and put us out of business. That's when I became a vegetarian. I couldn't bear to eat meat that had come from the people who had put us out of business. And so it was this very, you know, emotionally really difficult thing for my whole family, although in retrospect, I'm quite grateful for it because had the store never gone out of business, I might still be cutting meat and miserable in small-town Hudson, and would never have, for example, been able to come out of the closet, and move to New York City and write [my books]. I think this is a great opportunity to give my dad some real credit because he responded extremely well back in 1997 to the twin [''betrayals''] of my coming out as a gay man and as a vegetarian. But he was extremely good-natured about the whole thing.

Burning Worlds is Amy Brady’s monthly column 
dedicated to examining trends in climate fiction, or “cli-fi,” 
in partnership with Yale Climate Connections
For this month’s column, she spoke with Sam Miller, 
author of the new cli-fi novel Blackfish City. This book, 
like Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140, looks to a 
future time when Earth has been ravaged 
by climate change and humanity is barely hanging on. 
But unlike Robinson, 
Miller imagines New York City long gone. 
In fact, most of the world’s epicenters are gone, 
and in their place is a new metropolis called Qaanaaq. 
It’s a floating city in the Arctic Circle, 
a last bastion of civilization after the so-called “Climate Wars.”


Monday, May 21, 2018

'Speciestalgia' is a new word for human distress caused by species loss

'Speciestalgia' is a new word for human distress caused by species loss

by Dan Bloom

see also:

the human-race-just-1-percent of-all-life-but-has-destroyed-over-80-percent of-wild-mammals-study says

A recent news article in the Guardian newspaper in London noted that while human beings are just 1 percent of all living life on Earth, we have been responsible for the disappearance and extinction  of over 80 percent of all non-human species. This got me to thinking that maybe we needed a new word, a new coinage, to represent the distress we feel that has been and will continue to be caused by species loss.

I put on my thinking cap and this is what I came up with: "speciestalgia."

It's a portmanteau of species and nostalgia. It describes the feeling of distress associated with the worldwide loss of many different
kinds of species -- large and small -- due to environmental change, global warming, climate change and industrial pollution. In the 21st century, it might become a key word.

I coined it because of the negative attitude of  "who the heck cares?" that so many of our fellow human beings have today about the fact that so many species are disappearing and going extinct worldwide.

I can imagine scientists who study endangered species and species loss, and the reporters who cover their work and academic papers, using this new term as a kind of wake-up call and a call to action worldwide.

Use the term as you wish. I also created a Twitter hashtag for the word: #speciestalgia. 

If you are a writer or a poet or an academic or a news reporter or a literary critic, and if you are novelist Margaret Atwood or essayist Amitav Ghosh or nature writer Robert Macfarlane or climate activist Naomi Klein or Bill McKibben, or you know someone like them and feel the same way yourself, feel free to start using this new ecological term as you see fit. Over time, it will create its own expanded definition and gain acceptance in the mass media. Give it five years or ten years or so. These things take time. But let's start now, as time is of the essence and in many cases, time is running out.

When I queried a few academics and activists in the field, to try to gauge their reactions to the new term, pro or con, I received a few encouraging emails.

"Dan, do you know the word "solastalgia?" asked Canadian activist Silver Donald Cameron. "It was coined more than a dozen years ago by a philosopher and professor in Australia, Dr. Glenn Albrecht, to refer to the sense of loss that comes from environmental loss. 'Speciestalgia' would be a piece of that I think -- a large piece. It's a good coinage." 

Janet Swim, a professor of psychology at Penn State University, told me in an email: 
"Nice specific concept to consider. I was just talking to a friend who said she started to make a list of trees that we no longer have (at least in North America) and those that are threatened. She was certainly feeling 'speciestalgia'."

Dr Swim says on her university website that her interest lies in understand people's involvement, or lack thereof, in environmental problems and willingness to take action.  

"I am interested in both basic and applied research that can motivate individuals and organizations to work toward a sustainable and vibrant world. My current areas of research include social sources of beliefs and actions including gender role norms and social networking; and creating effective climate change communications,'' she added.

New words and terms take on a life of their own, if they reach enough people and if they resonate with the right people. Perhaps "speciestalgia" will find an home on the scientific community worldwide and among general readers and writers

***"Curious, empathetic, compassionate: What we should be as human beings."***

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Sci-fi publisher .@torbooks Under fire from Taiwan SF fans for preventing them from joining website shades of "1984"

Sci-fi publisher . Under fire from Taiwan SF fans for preventing them from joining website shades of "1984"

Sci-fi publisher .@torbooks in NYC Under fire from Taiwan SF fans for preventing them from joining website as Taiwanese and forced to call themselves Communist PRC nationals: WTF? -- shades of "1984" and "Animal Farm"

Sci-fi publisher . Under fire from Taiwan SF fans for preventing them from joining website shades of "1984"

Sci-fi publisher .@torbooks in NYC Under fire from Taiwan SF fans for preventing them from joining website as Taiwanese and forced to call themselves Communist PRC nationals: WTF? -- shades of "1984" and "Animal Farm"

To join SF fan site..... Taiwanse fans forced by Tor USA editors to say, 1984-style, that Taiwan is a "province of communist Red China". Shame on Tor Books and the sci-fi community worldwide for caving into Communist China Propaganda, Scifi people should know better than to cave in to dicatorship who use 1984 and ANIMAL FARM tropes to deny Taiwanese fans of SF the join the TOR website as Taiwanese rather than forced to say they are COMMUNiST PRC nationals which they are not. And TOR editors refuse to fess up to their mistake on their website.

From Miles Gunter and Kelsey Shannon comes a cli-fi graphic novel DARK FANG EARTH CALLING that gives the middle finger to pols and proppies who choose to deny climate change

Enlarge cover

Dark Fang, Vol. 1: Earth Calling

 3.63  ·   Rating details ·  19 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Her name is Valla. She is a vampire who has resided on the bottom of the ocean for a century. When her aquatic paradise is destroyed by a dark liquid plague, she travels to the surface in search of answers. What she finds is a world threatened by climate change and a civilization powerless to stop it. Eventually mankind will be wiped out and Valla will have no food supply. If she is to survive, then the fossil fuel industries must fall.
Image Comics presents the first volume in the cli-fi action horror thrill ride by MILES GUNTER and KELSEY SHANNON.

Justin Gillis: "We need some good climate fiction (cli-fi)....''

Replying to 
We need some good climate fiction.....