Paul Di Filippo. Life in the Anthropocene. (The Mammoth Book of Apocalyptic SF).

As you would expect from Di Filippo, a somewhat lighter touch than most of the stories in the book, in his inimitable gonzo style.

Climate change has had a big impact on Earth, anything between the 45th parallel north and south uninhabitable. But despite this, life goes on, just like today, only more so. Aurobindo Bandjalang is our erstwhile hero, moved out of his comfort zone by actually having to travel to investigate problems in a solar panel array some way distant.

He has two colleagues forced on him, one a part-feline babe, the other an ultra-geek, in fact a ‘keek’, a ‘punctuated equilibriumist’. This latter phrase is a nicely erudite and nerdy touch – I remember the punctured equilibrium model from the mid-1990s used in the context of managing change : we have very much moved from a model of equilibrium only rarely punctuated by change, to one where change is the norm, and equilibrium the norm.

One thing that doesn’t change though, is that the guy gets the girl/feline. But he also gets a whole heap of trouble with the ‘keek’. Nice to be reading a story by Di Filippo again – they’re getting way too rare!

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