The Great Transition

S. & S. Audio. Aug. 2023. 11:31 hrs. ISBN 9781797155845. $23.99. SF
Set in a near future, Googins’s debut opens as Emi and her father, Larch, are celebrating Day Zero, the day Earth reached net-zero carbon emissions. The event descends into chaos when a man marked as a “climate criminal,” who used to work for the fossil fuel industry, is assassinated. When Emi’s mother, Kristina, goes missing, Emi and Larch wonder if she might have been involved. Interspersed with Emi and Larch’s search for Kristina are Larch’s recollections of the climate change movement known as the Great Transition, when Larch and Kristina worked fighting wildfires, building sea walls, and supporting aid projects after the collapse of a giant Antarctic ice sheet. Emi’s interviews and essays for her school project on the climate crisis provide further insight into the events shaping the family’s history. The author describes current conditions from the perspective of his optimistic future (where McDonald’s is a worker-owned co-op, and everyone dedicates two weeks a year to civil service) and considers the climate crisis’s adverse effects and humanity’s possible response as plausible. Googins’s easily digestible prose is complemented by Stacy Carolan and Stacy Gonzalez’s well-paced, engaging narration.
VERDICT This hopeful and intriguing climate fiction debut makes an impact.
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