*If you are very easily shocked.
1. It wasn’t always called “Landfall”.
My novella “Landfall” started life as a longish short story called “Pilot”, which was told entirely from the perspective of Nasimul Rahman, the Bangladeshi climate refugee who is one of the two main characters in the novella. “Pilot” was Nasimul’s nickname. But I could never get the story to work as I hoped until I introduced the second major character, Donna, the somewhat accidental member of the Shore Patrol. Their intersecting narratives now drive the story.
2. Why Bangladesh?
Bangladesh is one of the countries most at risk from sea-level rise. In 2007, 46% of the Bangladeshi population lived within 10 meters of the average sea level.
3. Sea level rise in my story has been speeded up from what is currently expected.
For story reasons, “Landfall” is set in a world in which sea levels rise over the next few decades faster than is predicted by the IPCC, which is predicting (to greatly simplify a complex matter) sea level rise of up to a metre by 2100, depending on the extent of greenhouse gas emission reductions embarked on in the coming years.
However, the IPPC’s sea level rise predictions depend on modelling which, when projected backwards, has generally given sea level rise estimates lower than actual observed sea level rise. My story imagines a very high end scenario, with catastrophic ice sheet collapses – which are by no means out of the question – leading to rapid sea level rise.
4. I thought the treatment of refugees in “Landfall” was far-fetched when I wrote the story. Sadly, it’s all too realistic.
In “Landfall”, a future New Zealand Government meets boatloads of refugees with torpedoes and machine-gun fire. Even last year, while finishing the novella, I thought that was more far-fetched than my sea level rise scenario. Sadly, this year’s scenes from Europe – and from Australia – have convinced me it is an increasingly likely scenario.
5. “Landfall” is shockingly cheap!
6. “Landfall” is one of six novellas which together form Paper Road Press’s “Shortcuts – Track One” series.