Sean McMullen. The Precedent. (Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/Aug 2010)

As bleakly intense a take on climate change and its consequences as you’ll find. It’s not so much the consequences on the climate, but the consequences for those deemed to have contributed to climate change, who receive summary justice.

And those deemed to have contributed are pretty much anyone – SUV drivers, the overweight, or simply getting a second doctorate. It’s the person quilty of this latter crime who takes us on a journey to a hellish place of retribution, where the case against those charged with climate change crimes take little time. For the lucky ones death follows very quickly. For the less fortunate, death can take a longer time, including the horrificly ironic death by greenhouse.

In avoiding this fate, the climatologist could perhaps be seen to have beaten the system, but it is entirely the opposite. The stuff of nightmares.

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