The newest installment of John Feffer’s Splinterlands series is here. In this interview, Feffer discusses our current climate disaster, and how Frostlands shows a future ruled by corporations after the global order has long disintegrated.
Samantha Borek: Frostlands is a standalone follow-up to your book Splinterlands. How do the two sync up in the timeline of the series?
John Feffer: Splinterlands takes place in 2050 and Frostlands shortly thereafter. But you don’t have to read the first volume to understand what’s going on in the second. Frostlands gives you enough background to understand what has happened to the world since 2019 – the collapse of the European Union and federal states like Russia and the United States, the splintering of the international community, the spread of paramilitaries, the intensification of climate change.
Splinterlands is focused on the “past” – the how and the why of the world’s fragmentation. Frostlands is focused on the “present” – how everyone, including the main character Rachel Leopold, is dealing with the consequences of that fragmentation.
As the newest climate science reports detail that we only have 12 years to mitigate climate change catastrophe, how does Frostlands give us a glimpse into the future?
The human race, in this era, can be likened to a group of frogs sitting in a very big pot of water. Until recently, the temperature of the water had been rising only very slowly, so only a few frogs were paying any attention at all. Today, more and more frogs are aware of the problem. In 2051, the water is near boiling, and everyone is experiencing the impact: disappearing islands and coastlines, extreme weather events that wipe out cities, the rise of a new class of climate refugees.
Rachel Leopold, the 80-year-old glaciologist who is at the center of Frostlands, is focused on ice. Trapped beneath the continental ice shelves and under the…