Ecological Warnings
The Earth is what we all have in common
- Wendell Berry


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Stand on Zanzibar
by John Brunner (1968)


The genre's overpopulation classic is a near-future story of a crowded world where people are kept in check by brainy computers and mass-marketed psychedelics. Apparently mild-mannered Donald Hogan, a spy on a eugenics mission, is unaware that he has been programmed to kill. Though written in 1968, it speaks of today, and is frighteningly prescient and intensely powerful.





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The Word for World is Forest
by Ursula K. Le Guin (1972)


Terran colonists take over the planet locals call Athshe, meaning 'forest', rather than 'dirt', like their home planet Terra. They follow the 19th century model of colonization... felling trees, planting farms, digging mines and enslaving indigenous peoples. One fatal act triggers a rebellion and changes the people of both worlds forever. An anti-war novella with environmental overtones.





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The Gods Themselves
by Isaac Asimov (1972)


Rare Asimov stand-alone about energy transfers with a parallel universe. A small group learns the transference process used to acquire the seemingly abundant free energy will lead to the sun's annihilation. The group -- an outcast Earth scientist, a rebellious alien inhabitant of a dying planet, and a lunar-born human 'intuitionist' -- holds the key to the Earth's survival.





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Inverted World
by Christopher Priest (1974)


A global energy crisis triggers a disaster of quantum proportions thanks to a scientific experiment which had presumably gone wrong. The city of Earth, where age is measured in miles, is winched along tracks through a devastated land full of hostile tribes. If it does not move, it will fall farther behind the optimum and into a crushing gravitational field that has transformed life on Earth.





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Timescape
by Gregory Benford (1980)


By 1998 uncontrollable pollution and social unrest has turned the world into a living hell. Two Cambridge scientists experiment with faster-than-light tachyons in an attempt to communicate with the scientists of 1962, warning of an ecological disaster that will destroy the oceans in the future, if it is not averted in the past. Separate plotlines follow characters in both generations.





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Grass
by Sheri S. Tepper (1989)


Fine Hugo-nominated yarn about a colony planet that is resistant to a plague threatening to wipe out humankind. Earth - dominated by the followers of the oppressive Sanctity religion - sends two unofficial ambassadors to investigate. The nature of truth and religion are examined through the secrets behind the ancient fox hunting practised by the European nobility on the planet Grass.





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Earth
by David Brin (1990)


Decades from now, an artificial black hole has fallen into the Earth's core. As scientists work to prevent the ultimate disaster, they discover that the entire planet could be destroyed within a year. But while they look for an answer, some claim that the only way to save Earth is to let its human inhabitants become extinct. An ecological message that comes through loud and clear.





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Spin [S1]
by Robert Charles Wilson (2005)


Love, science, religion, ecology and the apocalypse... for those who thought 2001's 'The Chronoliths' couldn't be topped, Wilson has quite simply gone one better. Tyler Dupree bounces between his childhood and years as a young man facing the impending end of the world. With his two closest friends pursuing decidedly different paths, the terraformation of Mars may be the only hope.





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2312
by Kim Stanley Robinson (2012)


In 2312, scientific and technological advances have opened gateways to an extraordinary future. Earth is no longer humanity's only home; new habitats have been created throughout the solar system on moons, planets, and in between. A woman who once designed worlds, now will be led into a plot to destroy them. Robinson deftly delves into ecological and sociological themes once again.


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