At the request of the author, Craig Russell, I read Fragment, a novel of the new climate-fiction genre, often referred to as “cli-fi”. Highlighted by Yale University’s Climate Connections as important books on this topic, Fragment is now on the short list for the Michael Van Rooy Award. I thoroughly enjoyed this intriguing story.
Pushed into the ocean by a shockwave in the Antarctic, a massive sheet of ice, a fragment the size of Kentucky, is carried northward by ocean currents. All marine life in its path is killed. A polar research facility and an American military base are destroyed. Only three people survive: scientists from the research facility.
The lead advisor to the U.S. President spins the breaking story as much ado about nothing, buries the information of the destruction of our Antarctic military base, and tries to capture the “foreign” (New Zealand) scientists before they can spread the truth. Meanwhile, the Fragment travels into the Pacific Ocean and on into the Caribbean, where it shears off the top of a volcano, causing floods and fires. Meanwhile, a Blue Whale helps the survivors and fights for survival, and two journalists brave the storms of the Drake Passage to find the truth.
Fragment provides much food for thought as we humans continue to abuse our planet and its animals. It should give pause to those who continue to ignore the science of climate change and its causes. Fragment is exceptionally well-written, and is a valuable book that I encourage everyone to read. I expect it to win many awards.
What Makes This Book Reviewer Grumpy?
Only one thing: Occasional single-sentence paragraphs. This is a big no-no, except in dialogue.