Posts Tagged ‘Climate Fiction’



Byers Lake Sept. 2017

My wife and I live in Fairbanks, Alaska and try to make at least one trip per year to Byers Lake to spend a few days hiking, canoeing, bird watching, and viewing bears from hopefully safe distances. The forest landscape in all seasons provides a backdrop of beauty, surrounding the lake.

Until this summer (2019), our last trip to Byers Lake was September 2017 when the landscape was an explosion of yellow interspersed with dark green from the many spruce trees that are part of the forest. The spruce trees are green all the time so you don’t notice them as much as the birches and aspens which change shades from light to dark green and then to yellow.

This June (2019) when Dana and I arrived at Byers Lake the landscape was starkly different. Most of the spruce trees that had been alive just 20 months ago were now dead or dying.


Byers Lake June 2019


Byers Lake June 2019

One result of climate change, which is accelerated in Alaska, is that the warmer winters are allowing the spruce bark beetles to survive in much larger numbers instead of being killed by the traditionally coldly temperatures, and the longer summers are allowing them to complete their life cycle in one year instead of two. The beetle larvae eat the layer of the tree that transports nutrients, effectively starving it. Although the beetles are a natural part of the environment, they are thriving due to the warming climate.

Byers Lake is but one of many places undergoing intense change in Alaska. As an Alaska fiction writer, climate change has naturally crept into my stories.

TheWildLands-CVR-AuthorApproval-2My recently published YA novel, The Wild Lands, is a survival story set in the future in a climate-change-altered Alaska. Being at Byers Lake made me feel like I was living in my novel even though the novel does not address the spruce bark beetle infestation at all. The Wild Lands (Macmillan January 2019), is a story that travels a path in Alaska 80 years in the future where the consequences of climate change play out.

My soon to be published middle grade novel, Follow the River (Move Books November 6th, 2019) also has a climate change element in the plot.


Paul Greci writes young adult and middle grade fiction. His stories are set in the Alaska wilderness, where climate change is an ongoing threat to the ecosystems.

Book Covers copy

Paul Greci is the author of The Wild Lands (Macmillan 2019) and Surviving Bear Island (Move Books 2015), a 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection and a 2016 Scholastic Reading Club Selection. Forthcoming is Follow the River (Move Books March 2020) and Hostile Territory (Macmillan Jan. 2020). You can order all of Paul’s books here.

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