|original cover art by Hans Wessolowski|
Climate Fiction in the Ekcolir Reality
In the Ekcolir Reality, Hedya Bates was editing Astounding Stories when Isaac Asimov wrote his first "letter to the editor". Not knowing that "H. White" was was a pen name used by Hedya, Asimov wrote a scathing deconstruction of her story 'Ice Grendels'.
Its first pages set in January of 1922, 'Ice Grendels' told of a cold and snowy winter during which all of the East Coast rivers of New England were frozen and how the railroads battled to keep the rails clear for delivery of coal. With power plants and home coal-burning furnaces pumping out vast amounts of coal soot, 'Ice Grendels' was the story that first raised the prospect of how continued use of coal could create permanent global cooling "like an endless Krakatau".
|original cover art by Robert Jones|
Asimov had found mention of Svante Arrhenius and his work on global warming. The young Asimov wrote to Astounding Stories complaining that global warming was the more likely long-term outcome of burning coal.
Impressed by the logical argument presented by Mr. Asimov, Hedya published his letter and challenged readers to write and submit their own "climate fiction" articles. Three months later, Hedya was shown a story submitted to Astounding Stories by Isaac Asimov called 'The Beta Revolution'. In the Ekcolir Reality, beta decay had been discovered in 1915. Set in the year 1983, 'The Beta Revolution' was about how fossil fuel use had been replace by nuclear power. In Asimov's story, nuclear powered spaceships moved effortlessly around the Solar System.
Impressed by Asimov's ambitious 'Beta Revolution', Hedya visited Asimov at the address listed on his mailings to Astounding Stories. Hedya was surprised to find the 12-year-old Isaac at work in his parent's store. According to Gohrlay, Asimov was immediately smitten by Hedya, who was 20 years older than he. Hedya became Asimov's mentor and helped him hone his writing skills.
|Connecting the Asimovs|
Next: space dreams
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