Bob Woodruff said, “If you want to change the future, first you must imagine it.”
Not all writers of fiction write about the future, but all fiction writers imagine a world that isn’t true. It’s a story created in their minds. Characters who do not really exist. Situations that did not happen. Conversations never put to voice. Struggles that are fantasies.
All readers of classic literature will think of George Orwell’s 1984. Orwell was a prolific writer, and liberal socialist, who wrote about a future where the rulers controlled everything. Actions and thoughts were monitored and manipulated. Passion, truth, and individualism were a danger to the members of this state. His vision of the world has come to an almost eerie pass today.
The American journalist and prolific writer, Chris Hedges, writes in Death of the Liberal Class (2010) “….magical thinking, the idea that human and personal progress is somehow inevitable, leads to political passivity….It has turned whole nations, such as the United States, into self-consuming machines of death.”
To bring us current on Kauai’s machine of death, all we need do is turn to the daily newspaper, The Garden Island. Almost every day we read about a living creature on the island who must be eliminated. Feral cats-according to some-responsible for the extinction of wild bird life . Crowing roosters and all wandering free range chickens-practically our island bird, they’re so beautiful-must be killed. Parakeets? Out with them. Coqui frogs? Noise polluters more annoying than helicopters, jets, drones, boom boxes, motorcycles or grumbling, rumbling over-size trucks carrying who- knows what, roaring up and down the highways day and night. Ubiquitous traffic jams. Horns honk, brakes squeal, humans and sirens scream.
Our super active military might, RimPac and a ‘Naval Battle Gun Rodeo’ , with a 28 death quota allowed on mammals of the sea, wage visible war fare off shore. This morning, Saturday, July 26, 2014, a whale beached itself and died in Hanalei. Coral reefs are dying. Ground water, fresh air, the very earth we walk and grow food on, are fouled by unlimited toxic herbicides and pesticides sprayed everywhere without disclosure of quantity or brand. We know these toxins kill bees.
Truth, our planet is presently engaged in the sixth extinction and there are many who cheer and some who profit.
So how does a writer of fiction, with a passionate concern for life and living things, tell a story about Kauai that brings all this madness into perspective?
Pare it down. In Children of the Extinction, I had to, as a friend said, bump off a lot of guys. Our number one problem: too many people? Solved. Kauai cannot support the existing population and land speculators and tax collectors want to bring in more. That had to stop. Our economic system is a disaster. Out. Money is worthless. Power? Lights, water, communication, computers, sewage and modern appliances out. Traffic problems solved. Can’t pump gas.
To me, as a writer of fiction, it was better to do the above problems in than living things.