Tag Archive for: corporate greed

The New Atlantis

 

You can’t go wrong with anything by Le Guin, but this novella is a remarkably prescient prediction of the climactic and geological upheaval wrought by a warming world. Set in the near-future in an America paralysed by corporate control of government, global warming is causing continents to sink, submerging much of the world under water. The people keep the dream alive that a new Atlantis will rise up out of the ocean. Written over forty years ago, this vision of hope sinking and hope rising is closer today than ever and Ursula Le Guin’s grim tale appears prophetic.

The future that Alderman conjures in her ambitious, exuberant follow-up to The Power is all too close to our own. Unchecked corporate greed dominates the political and cultural landscape; the Sixth Mass Extinction is in full swing; and AI, social media and new gadgets are transforming the way we live, communicate and think.

Against this backdrop, a collection of billionaires, paranoiacs, and idealists including a former cult member and a survivalist influencer co-operate and compete to shape the future of their dreams. With the continuation of much of life on Earth at stake, Alderman’s timely, intelligent thriller is tempered with anthropological, philosophical and religious commentaries which deftly frame the action in the context of entrenched cultural history, the biodiversity crisis, and Deep Time. – Liz Jensen

It’s tomorrow and the Arctic summer sea ice has completely melted. The long-sought sea route between Asia and Europe is finally open – and while nations strategise for control, private corporate powers are already taking it. The new Arctic has no protection – and business has no scruples.

This is the story of Sean Cawson, an ambitious and wounded man, who reunites with his oldest friend, conservationist Tom Harding, to fuse their goals. One wants to own the Arctic, the other, to save it. Bonded in the past through their love of this unique place, and their fascination with polar heroes, they are going to embody a new way to profit from doing good. When Tom is killed in the accident that Sean survives, although their venture goes on to thrive, Sean’s inner world starts to crumble like the glacier that killed his friend. Three years later when Tom’s body is found and a date for the inquest is set, he knows this is not closure. A story of friendship and betrayal, greed and love, The Ice weaves archival material from centuries past, with the latest research on developments in the Arctic Ocean.

 

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