Sunday, February 11, 2024


Another collection of Prime Reading short stories, this time with the common theme of climate change.

The Way the World Ends - Jess Walter

Two climate scientists competing for the same university job are stranded overnight after a freak ice storm closes Mississippi airport, and cross paths with a young student facing big life decisions. Is there any hope in a world facing catastrophic climate change? Not what I was expecting from the title but a satisfying payoff.

Boca Raton - Lauren Groff

A single mother in the titular town struggles with insomnia and frightening thoughts of the future for fragile communities and ecosystems in Florida coastal areas.  Atmospheric and ambiguous.

Controller - Jesse Kellerman

A man caring for his bitter and resentful elderly mother, arguing over the controls for the air conditioning during a killer heat wave. Grim.

There’s No Place Like Home - Edan Lepucki

A young girl scratching a living in a ravaged city after the death of her father finds out things about him that she never suspected.

Falls the Shadow - Skip Horack

A veteran soldier living in the backwoods of a unique ecological enclave is recruited by a mysterious billionaire, ostensibly for some sort of publicity stunt. Intriguing premise that doesn’t really go anywhere.

At the Bottom of New Lake - Sonya Larson

A student diving for relics of the past in the flood waters of coastal Florida is confronted by her teacher about whether she should feel guilty for not caring more about climate change. Quite on the nose this one, but makes a good point, at least from the perspective of someone of the older generation who really should have done more when we had the chance.

The Hillside - Jane Smiley

A nicely quirky one to finish on. A council of animals put the handful of remaining humans on trial for what they did to the planet through greed and selfishness, but a young horse feels an odd empathy for one of the humans she is supposed to be guarding. 

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