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January 6, 2017

BLOG TOUR: The Heatstroke Line

  January 3 – March 31!


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The Heatstroke Line
Edward L.Rubin


Inside the Book

Author: Edward L. Rubin
Publisher: Sunbury Press
Pages: 223
Genre: Scifi/Cli-Fi (Climate Change Science Fiction)
Nothing has been done to prevent climate change, and the United States has spun into decline.   Storm surges have made coastal cities uninhabitable, blistering heat waves afflict the interior and, in the South (below the Heatstroke Line), life is barely possible.  Under the stress of these events and an ensuing civil war, the nation has broken up into three smaller successor states and tens of tiny principalities.  When the flesh-eating bugs that inhabit the South show up in one of the successor states, Daniel Danten is assigned to venture below the Heatstroke Line and investigate the source of the invasion.  The bizarre and brutal people he encounters, and the disasters that they trigger, reveal the real horror climate change has inflicted on America.


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Meet the Author

Edward Rubin is University Professor of Law and Political Science at Vanderbilt University.  He specializes in administrative law, constitutional law and legal theory. He is the author of Soul, Self and Society:  The New Morality and the Modern State (Oxford, 2015); Beyond Camelot:  Rethinking Politics and Law for the Modern State (Princeton, 2005) and two books with Malcolm Feeley, Federalism:  Political Identity and Tragic Compromise (Michigan, 2011) and Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State:  How the Courts Reformed America’s Prisons (Cambridge, 1998).  In addition, he is the author of two casebooks, The Regulatory State (with Lisa Bressman and Kevin Stack) (2nd ed., 2013); The Payments System (with Robert Cooter) (West, 1990), three edited volumes (one forthcoming) and The Heatstroke Line (Sunbury, 2015) a science fiction novel about the fate of the United States if climate change is not brought under control. Professor Rubin joined Vanderbilt Law School as Dean and the first John Wade–Kent Syverud Professor of Law in July 2005, serving a four-year term that ended in June 2009. Previously, he taught at the University of Pennsylvania Law School from 1998 to 2005, and at the Berkeley School of Law from 1982 to 1998, where he served as an associate dean. Professor Rubin has been chair of the Association of American Law Schools’ sections on Administrative Law and Socioeconomics and of its Committee on the Curriculum. He has served as a consultant to the People’s Republic of China on administrative law and to the Russian Federation on payments law. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton and his law degree from Yale.
He has published four books, three edited volumes, two casebooks, and more than one hundred articles about various aspects of law and political theory. The Heatstroke Line is his first novel.


From the Author

           I wrote The Heatstroke Line as a warning.   It emerged from my sense of frustration and dismay about the refusal of so many people, and so many political leaders, to confront the reality of human-induced climate change.  I find it hard to believe that people would choose to ignore a consensus view among scientists.  This might have made sense in the eighteenth century, but now almost everything in our ordinary lives, from cars, to cell phones to personal computers, is the product of the same methodology, and the same institutional structure, as the conclusions about global warming.

            My guess is that many Americans suspect that the scientists are right, but that they are willing to ignore the inconvenient reality of climate change because they think that it will only affect tropical countries and oceanic islands that are far away from us.   The Heatstroke Line responds to this mistaken view by depicting a United States with its coastal cities flooded and its remaining land sweltering under debilitating heat.  It has broken into smaller units that are in conflict with each other and it is dominated by Canada, which now has a temperate climate.

            The term "cli-fi" was developed by Dan Bloom, who runs a blog about it and has been an important supporter of my efforts. There are already a number of "cli-fi" novels that deal with global warming.  But many of them belong to the genre of post-apocalyptic science fiction that uses a disaster -- nuclear war, epidemic or ecological collapse-- to wipe away the complexities of modern civilization and tell an adventure story.  The Heatstroke Line is different.  It shows an imaginable future, not very distant from the present, when there are still modern houses, cars, governments, schools and political conflicts.  In addition, it uses the device of a story within a novel to comment on (and perhaps satirize) science fiction of the post-apocalyptic variety.  The main character's reaction to this story plays an important role in the plot.

            My goal was to make The Heatstroke Line is a real novel that people would enjoy reading and would hold their attention.  It is relatively short, filled with action and written in simple, easy to read prose. It doesn't preach and it does not try to advance scientific arguments.  Its goal is to make the consequences of climate change real and immediate.   It is intended to motivate people who believe that climate change is occurring to take action, and to induce those who deny climate change to re-think their position.
Has climate change ever entered your mind?  Have you really thought about it?   The future of our country is at stake. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow but it is slowly happening.  This is a book about the United States and what climate change could do to our country.  The book is written with the intent to "warn".  Some believe in climate change and are working to improve things,  Others don't believe, some don't take the time to feel one way or another. The author shows the U.S. as being a heat sweltering place, the coastal cities flooded.   To be honest, hasn't this been happening for hundreds and hundreds of years?  We have our scorching summers, our bitter cold winters, our hurricanes, our tornadoes, our torrential rains, all which effect the country.    I personally don't think Climate Change is the reason for everything that happens.  Life happens.  With more and more people in the world, things are bound to change.  This book may be different from the other cli-fi novels.   The author intends to present an imaginable future.  A possibility.  The book is simple and quite easy to read.  It's filled with action and it is just presenting a possibility of a different future.  Showing what climate change can do.  The author is asking people who believe in climate change to take action and try to change what they believe to be happening.  He is also asking those who don't believe, to possibly re-think their position. The author introduces various characters that are interesting, letting us in on their lives.   It's up to you the reader, and how you see climate change or if you see it significant at all.   If you do believe and are in fear of what will happen to the here and now and the future, then step up and find ways to change things.  If you don't believe, this may give you a different perspective to look at.   The author isn't pushing anybody to believe. He's just giving a perspective on what he believes is happening and might happen.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and PUYB and voluntarily decided to review it.

I would give this book 4 STARS. 

Tour Schedule


Tuesday, January 3
Wednesday, January 4
Thursday, January 5
Friday, January 6
Monday, January 9
Tuesday, January 10
Wednesday, January 11
Thursday, January 12
Monday, January 16
Wednesday, January 18

Monday, January 23
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Friday, January 27
Monday, February 6
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Monday, February 27
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Monday, March 6
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Thursday, March 9
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Wednesday, March 15
Thursday, March 16
Monday, March 20
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Monday, March 27
Tuesday, March 28
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Thursday, March 30
Friday, March 31
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