NEW FICTION: UNDER AN ARCTIC SKY by Stephen Gaskell

Paul Raven @ 01-05-2009

We publish writers from all over the globe here at Futurismic, but this month I get to present a story by someone who lives damn near on my doorstep! Stephen Gaskell comes from Brighton here in the UK, but “Under an Arctic Sky” is as far from the faded Regency glamour of his seaside hometown as you could imagine. It’s a powerful story of dedication to a cause against the fiercest of oppression, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Under an Arctic Sky

by Stephen Gaskell

Slava ran.

Ran as fast as he could. His icy breath speared the air. His footfalls made slapping sounds against the packed snow. The temperature must have been minus forty, but he didn’t feel the cold.

He didn’t look back.

Didn’t want to see the oil well derricks. Didn’t want to see the scarred black tundra. Didn’t want to see the line of nodding donkeys and their belches of fire.

Most of all, he didn’t want to see how close the snowmobiles were, buzzing behind him like angry bees.

In his mind’s eye he streaked ahead to the northerly reaches of the Kanin peninsula. Past herds of caribou, past the last encampments of the Nenets, past the odd polar bear loping away on the horizon.

The back of his neck felt stiff, as though somebody had kicked him there with a steel-capped boot. He stretched a gloved hand over his head to rub at the aching spot.

And stopped dead.

There was something embedded in his neck. Continue reading “NEW FICTION: UNDER AN ARCTIC SKY by Stephen Gaskell”


Climate change steps on the gas

Paul Raven @ 24-09-2008

melting Arctic iceHoooooo-boy. Just in case global financial disasters and geopolitical instabilities haven’t given you enough things to worry about, here’s a another: remember when scientists suggested that melting ice-caps at the poles of the planet could end up releasing massive reservoirs of sub-oceanic methane into the atmosphere, amplifying the greenhouse effect and accelerating climate change to an even greater degree?

Turns out that we’re finding more evidence for that theory than anyone really wants to find. Anyone wanna buy us out of this little problem? [via WorldChanging; image from linked Independent article]


The map is not the territory – the Arctic Circle and the cartography of conflict to come

Paul Raven @ 06-08-2008

Arctic Circle claims mapThings are heating up in the Arctic Circle – and not just because of climate change. The prospect of as-yet untapped natural resources lurking at the crown of the globe may cause a resurgence in territorial disputes, as various nations attempt to stake their claims to jurisdiction over the area.

In an effort to inform policy-makers, researchers in the UK have used specialist geographical software to create a map that lays out the potentially disputable regions in detail. Whether the map becomes a focal point for reasoned discussion or a template for military operations rooms remains to be seen. [image courtesy Durham University via linked BBC article] [hat-tip to Darren@Orbit]