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Darwin’s Paradox Considered Eco-Fiction and Climate Fiction

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JP McLean reads Darwin’s Paradox in the Gulf Islands, BC

Nina Munteanu’s eco-thriller Darwin’s Paradox and its prequel Angel of Chaos are described as climate fiction, an emerging sub-genre of science fiction.

In an article in Amazing Stories, which later appeared in Europa SF, Nina Munteanu wrote about how the trend in science fiction has moved toward environmental issues.  Munteanu cited her experience at the 2009 World SF Convention in Montreal where she sat on a panel with Tor executive Tom Doherty in which Doherty shared that their publishing house was currently looking for stories and heroes who worked to achieve an environmentally sustainable world through innovation and creative technology.

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George reads Darwin’s Paradox at Brighton Pier

In 2013, Wired Magazine defined climate fiction as a “sub genre of dystopian fiction set in the near future [science fiction], in which climate change wreaks havoc on an otherwise familiar planet.” Other definitions are not as restrictive.

Munteanu’s eco-SF thriller duology, DARWIN’S PARADOX and ANGEL OF CHAOS examine humanity’s co-evolution with technology and nature in a climate-changed world.

From the author:

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Rick reads Darwin in his favorite place

My books Angel of Chaos and Darwin’s Paradox (both with Dragon Moon Press) are stories about human evolution in a post climate change world. Climate change has created the harsh heathlands of a former Ontario and hastened the extinction of many species of wildlife. Humanity retreated into self-enclosed ecosystem-rich megacities called Icarias, protected and separated from the inhospitable wilderness.

The community of megacities is overseen by the Circle, a government of deep ecologists, trained in the laws of “Earth wisdom”.

It was a harsh and rude environment, Julie concluded. Like thieves in the night, bell heather, gorse and purple loosestrife snatched everything for themselves, leaving nothing for the others. Like many things in nature, the heath plants, though beautiful and fragrant, were ruthlessly greedy.” (Darwin’s Paradox)

Angel of Chaos and Darwin’s Paradox tell a story of hope and renewal. The duology explores the greater perspective of “creative destruction” on a planet of great resilience and creativity. In Angel of Chaos and Darwin’s Paradox, the destructive force of climate change is connected to the planet’s ability to renew itself through evolutionary change. With each “destructive” trigger, there follows a burst of creative opportunity.

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Enlightened Carina reads Darwin under the tree

Julie, the main protagonist, finds herself the key to the next step in humanity’s evolution, triggered by climate change and the subsequent creation of enclosed cities. She is a “veemeld”, someone who can “talk to the machine world” in her head. She is also seemingly immune to a deadly environmental disease that has emerged within the enclosed cities.

Gaia, the head ecologist of the government Circle, suggests that the genetic makeup for these two traits in veemelds is by evolutionary design, and likely existed long before they were needed. She posits a new race of beings who, will inherit the new paradigm on Earth. Gaia shares this incite: “ Even a crisis that introduces a new source of chaos is likely to increase the order created by evolution. The asteroid crash millennia ago, for instance, created vast destruction and subsequent chaos; yet, it seemed to hasten the rise of mammals in the niche previously dominated by reptiles and dinosaurs.” (Angel of Chaos)

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Noah Chinn on the ferry to Sechelt

In Angel of Chaos and Darwin’s Paradox, Julie’s father is a fractal ecologist, whose Inverted Loop Model, conceived from the heretical stable chaos theory, predicts the fall of Icaria: Stable chaos, [her father had] insisted, permeated everything and everyone. Like fractals of a larger interconnected universe, each person had his or her own cycle of creative destruction to experience before merging into a greater community of consciousness. (Darwin’s Paradox)

Angel of Chaos and Darwin’s Paradox explore the greater consequences and larger ecological and evolutionary possibilities of calamity, such as that posed by climate change, and renewal.


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The Whole World is Evolving: Look Who’s Reading Darwin—George Rottner

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George reads Darwin at Brighton Pier

People from all over the world are evolving with Darwin’s Paradox…. Artists, construction workers, teachers, students, healers, entrepreneurs, councillors, and shop-keepers … all journeying together toward the singularity.

Look who’s here today: Brighton UK resident George Rottner. George was born and bred in Brighton. He’s been married to his wife Jean for the last 57 years and they are anticipating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary in 2016.

George is a retired valuation officer with the local district council. He and Jean became grandparents nine years ago and George tells me that the grandchildren “keep us very busy, as every day they get a little bit faster, whilst we get a little bit slower.”

Maybe that’s what brings him to Brighton’s Palace Pier to read. And what better book than Darwin’s george darwin pier1 150x150 The Whole World is Evolving: Look Who’s Reading Darwin—George RottnerParadox to accompany him as he relaxes in front of the Pier. Darwin’s Paradox is about the evolution of humanity; Brighton Pier is the culmination of Pier evolution from the original Chain Pier built in 1823 to the current pier that stands there today.

Brighton’s Palace Pier (now called Brighton Pier) has been a main attraction since it opened in 1899. Designed by R. St. Moore, it was built to replace the old Chain Pier, which was damaged by fire and hurricane in 1836 then finally destroyed and swept away in 1896 by a violent storm. The oriental domes and delicate filigree arches of Brighton Pier give it an exotic air. Built with a kind of gay carnival atmosphere, Brighton Pier contains a variety of typical amusements such as a fortune teller, shooting gallery, dodgems, helter skelter and ghost train. The Palm Court Café reflects Victorian elegance, complete with string quartet. Victoria’s Bar celebrates the age in grand style.

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george rapt with Darwin in front of Royal Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion was originally built as a home for the Prince Regent in the early 19th century. Built under the direction of architect John Nash, it’s Indo-Saracentic architecture and Oriental interior are striking. And there’s George—again—enjoying the ambience of this exotic place whilst reading his book of choice…Darwin’s Paradox. Paradox, indeed!

Darwin’s Paradox is an environmental technological thriller about the evolution of humanity, technology and our planet. This science fiction thriller is all about paradox. This year the World Fantasy Convention comes to Brighton October 31 to November 3 (hosted by the Hilton Brighton Metropole). Brighton has already hosted several World Fantasy Conventions (in 1988 and 1997). Honorary guest of honour is Richard Matheson with other guest of honour being Joanne Harris, Joe Hill, and Richard Christian Matheson. Other special guests include Brian W. Aldiss, Tessa Farmer and Robert Lloyd Parry with special appearance by Sir Terry Pratchet.

For fantasy and science fiction writers, readers and general fans, Brighton, England, is the place to be this October. And that’s where George—and Darwin’s Paradox—are. Thanks, George!

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Original Chain Pier in Brighton

Participate in Look Who’s Reading Darwin:

If you are a Darwin reader and wish to share your favorite place to read Darwin, email me your shot of you reading the book and I’ll feature you. Include a little about you and what you’d like to promote (yourself, a group, an event or place, world peace…) and a link. Email me at: nina.sfgirl@gmail.com (message line: Look who’s reading Darwin).

Photos (except historical photo) by Pamela Holden.


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Darwin’s Paradox in Top Ten List for Female Leads in Science Fiction Novels

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Connie holds Darwin at Blackbond Books

Science fiction reader and blogger Tina Hunter lists her “Top Ten Science Fiction Novels with Female Lead Characters”. Darwin’s Paradox was one of them–and in very good company.

Here’s her list:

1. Venus Prime by Paul Preuss and Arthur C. Clark (1987-1991)

2. Freedom’s Landing and series by Anne McCaffrey (1995-2002)

3. This Alien Shore by C. S. Friedman (1999)

4. A Thousand Words for Stranger and series by Julie E. Czerneda (1997)

5. Wake trilogy by Robert J. Sawyer (2008)

6. JEMMA7729 by Pheobe Wray (2008)

7. Forbidden Cargo by Rebecca k. Rowe (2006)

8. Darwin’s Paradox by Nina Munteanu (2007)

9. Stardoc series by S. L. Viehl (2000-20009)

10. Beyond Infinity by Gregory Benford (2003)

 

About Darwin, Hunter says:

From the back of the book:

“When an intelligent virus and an intelligent machine conspire to seize North America’s largest city then threaten to spread world chaos, the only person who can save humanity is the woman who started it all.

Compelled by the ambitious virus stirring inside her, Julie Crane returns to the city from which she fled – accused of atrocity – to fulfil her final destiny as Darwin’s Paradox, the key to the evolution of humankind.”

The plague that gives??? In a time of H1N1, it’s interesting to look at a virus that is spreading across a future world and the steps people take to protect themselves.  While the main character is Julie Crane, supposed creator of the virus, this is also Julie’s daughter Angel’s story. And when the main character’s best friend is an AI, you know it’s going to be an interesting read.

 


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The Whole World is Evolving! Look Who’s Reading Darwin: Carina S. Burns

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Enlightened Carina reads Darwin under the tree

People from all over the world are evolving with Darwin’s Paradox…. Artists, construction workers, teachers, students, healers, entrepreneurs, councilors, and shop-keepers … all journeying together toward the singularity. Look who’s here today:

“I’m reading “Darwin’s Paradox“, and I’m hooked onto Nina’s work!” says Carina S. Burns, world traveler and author of The Syrian Jewelry Box, who currently lives in California with her family. “I have never before met a “goddess of metaphors”…. I so look forward to cuddling up in my bed with my best friend, “Darwin’s Paradox” tonight:-) You can bet that I will be reading all of Nina Munteanu’s books.”

Carina has traveled the world extensively. “Largely influenced by my time spent abroad, my writing deals with notions of multiculturalism and personal identity,” she says. Carina was born in Germany and immigrated to the USA with her family when she was four. As a young girl, she and her family traveled throughout the world. From 1968 to 1975 she lived and attended school in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

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She must be in the middle–it’s getting exciting!

“I enjoy all aspects of foreign cultures, including exotic cuisines, cultural history and language,” she says. Her passion is writing. “I like to think that my writing caresses your five senses… it might [even] evoke your sixth sense. [Think of] that first bite of a mille feuilles—French pastry is made up of three layers of puff pastry, and two layers of crème pâtissière)—wetting your appetite, enticing you to continue as you savor each layer.”

During the time she was in Saudi Arabia, Carina discovered that she was adopted. Carina’s website is devoted to helping people come to terms with being adopted and to flourish with the knowledge. Her ebook “What Do You Mean I Was Adopted?” has received a lot of positive response from clients and professionals in the field.

“Carina’s book shows you how to become empowered by the sometimes shocking and traumatic experience of adoption. It is a must-read for anyone who is adopted.” – Richard Krawczyk Author of Ultimate Success Blueprint TheMrBlueprint.com

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Can’t put it down!

Look for her upcoming memoir “The Syrian Jewelry Box”, an exotic and dreamlike soul-journey of a young girl as she travels through Europe, Asia and the Middle East on a quest for truth and reconciliation.

You can find Carina on Facebook, and her blog, and website devoted to helping others.

 

Participate in Look Who’s Reading Darwin:

If you are a Darwin reader and wish to share your favorite place to read Darwin, email me your shot of you reading the book and I’ll feature you. Include a little about you and what you’d like to promote (yourself, a group, an event or place, world peace…) and a link. Email me at: nina.sfgirl@gmail.com (message line: Look who’s reading Darwin).

 


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Darwin’s Paradox Reviewed by Tricia M Foster

DarwinsParadox Cover FINALsmall 200x300 Darwins Paradox Reviewed by Tricia M FosterDarwin’s Paradox was recently reviewed by Tricia M. Foster. Here is an excerpt:

The Victor Frankl quote at the front of the book, “What is to give light must endure burning,” is the first indication of the numerous paradoxical references you’ll find throughout the book, as Munteanu sets the stage for a story on the verge of transcending its genre…

Blurring the line between good and evil, Munteanu creates characters as paradoxical as the storyline itself…

Darwin’s Paradox also boasts a cast of exceptionally strong and complex women whose relationships intertwine and evolve like the deadly virus that binds them together. From the chair of the governing body, to Julie’s daughter, each of these characters serve pivotal roles throughout the book…

To give it depth, Munteanu has built her eco-thriller on a solid foundation of natural philosophy and symbolic allusions that meld pulp fiction with literary sensibilities. In doing so, Darwin’s Paradox delivers a story that is both entertaining and metaphoric, creating a layered effect that will engage even finicky readers…

Allusions to the French utopian movement founded by Etienne Cabet and the 19th century anti-industrial movement in Great Britian, underscore the conflict between nature and technology, while references to cooperative rather than competitive evolution hints at possible resolution…

Munteanu’s vision of the future is both frightening and inspiring, embracing the dark/light dichotomy dominating Darwin’s Paradox. Icaria’s vee-set wearing society, with their mechanical movements and vacant stares, resembles the disconnected iPod population of today. The contrast between the sterile environments of glass towers and the rubble of the inner city mirrors our own growing economic tensions. But just as Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortal man, Julia Crane carries the key that can transform civilization as we know it…

Darwin’s Paradox is a fascinating look into the future where man ceases his attempt to subjugate nature, while embracing its ability to adapt…

Darwin’s Paradox is on sale now at leading bookstores and at amazon.com.

Read the whole review at Tricia M Foster: Mythmaker and Creative Writer.


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