There’s a strong story element running right through Horizon about environmental collapse and climate change. It’s a topic that has emerged in recent years as the key political issue of our times, as some governments show a commitment to sustainable living and climate-friendly activities while others appear to be going backwards.
The accumulated scientific evidence of the past decade has proven beyond any doubt that humanity is responsible for the deterioration of our climate today, and failure to act is not an option. But in the future Earth of Horizon, it takes a sustained weather event that renders most of the eastern seaboard of North America uninhabitable before governments finally come together to act. Hopefully that won’t come to pass, and our elected representatives will put aside short-term political posturing for long-term, effective solutions.
In the novel, concerted action proves successful in staving off the worst effects of climate change. Earth can breathe easy, at least for a while, and the new found spirit of cooperation leads to the creation of a magnificent enterprise: the development and launch of the first interstellar explorer ship — Magellan — with a multi-national crew set on a journey to the Iota Persei star system that will take over half a century to complete.
But even the best intentions can sour, and when Magellan’s crew awaken from deepsleep, they learn that Earth is facing a new environmental catastrophe and their mission of exploration may have to become a survey mission to assess their target planet for colonisation as humanity prepares to flee a dying Earth.
But if mankind has trashed its own environment, what gives us the right to appropriate — and potentially ruin — that of another planet? A planet which may have its own indigenous life? And what of those who will be left behind because there’s not enough room on the arks? The crew of Magellan is by no means reconciled to do what Earth asks, and some of them are prepared to take whatever action is necessary to save Horizon from human settlement…
You can find out more information about Horizon on the Horizon Page.