Future Imperfect

by Babette Gallard. Published by Light Eye

“An incredibly good read … both deeply personal and political, it will become part of the canon of climate novels… Its tone is set somewhere between Kim Stanley Robinson’s Ministry for the Future and Barbara Kingsolver’s Unsheltered.– Rehad Desai, director of Miners Shot Down, How to Steal a Country and Everything Must Fall

It’s 2050, a climate changed world where humans and the digital devices are closely entwined. Natural disasters drought, famine and floods are the order of the day. Government is making living all that much harder. Many people are displaced as new immigration laws come into effect and the gap between the haves and the have nots widens. The River Rhone has flooded the town of Arles in France. Helen and Isha leave to join their daughter and eleven-month-old granddaughter, Ayo, in England. In Calais, Isha, who has Ugandan-Asian ancestry, is told that new Government immigration rules mean she will be immediately deported if she crosses the Channel. Faced with a terrible dilemma, Helen chooses to stay with her.

Homeless and stateless, they seek refuge in a friend’s Swiss mountain chalet, but to get there, they must avoid main roads and immigration checkpoints. They decide to walk along the Via Francigena, an ancient pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome, now also the preferred escape corridor for climate refugees fleeing north. Jana resolves to follow them, but this is not a simple decision. The family communicates whenever and however they can while battling exhaustion, terror and the virulent xenophobia of people struggling to protect their increasingly scarce resources.

Future Imperfect