Kim Stanley Robinson’s Global Catastrophe Epic: We Will Keep Going

by David Oates The day I began writing this essay, Portland Oregon braced for yet another round of uncharacteristic heat. Over several months of preparation, as I had been reading and pondering Kim Stanley Robinson’s big, detailed, hyper-realistic science-fiction book The Ministry for the Future, our normally cool northwest town had found itself repeatedly facing…

Three Poets from Small Presses: All the things of the world on fire

by David Oates Small poetry presses are the gold dust of the publishing world, glittering yet easy to miss. And of enduring cumulative value. Of course the Big Five publishers will pick up suitably salable, already-famous, sure-thing poets. Penguin Random House publishes Terrance Hayes, and that’s a damn good thing, a Black poet of subtlety…

The Plague That Saved the World: A short course in how things (might) happen

by David Oates We live in The Year Of Overlapping Catastrophes. Oh 2020, we know ye all too well. The pandemic, our very own plague. Economic depression. A quasi-fascistic con man at the head of government. The discovery that perhaps forty percent of our fellow Americans are truth-hating dupes and low-information racists. (Brits too. Decline…