Eighty years have passed since flash floods, droughts, and tornadoes have ravaged the North American landscape and mass migrations to the north have led to decade-long wars. In the thriving city of La Ronge, George Taylor and Lenore Hanson are lawyers who rarely interact with members of the lower classes from the impoverished suburb of Regis and the independently thriving Ashram outside the city. They live in a world of personalized Platforms, self-driving cars, and cutting edge Organic Recreational Vehicles (ORVs), where gamers need never leave their virtual realities.
Lenore befriends political dissenter and fellow war veteran Richard Warner, and George accidentally crash-lands his ORV near the mountain-sheltered haven of a First Nations community, they become exposed to new ways of thinking. As the lives of these near-strangers become intertwined, each is forced to confront the past before their relationships and lives unravel.
Taking its title from the Latin name for the Trickster bird of First Nations, Norse, and Christian mythologies, Corvus examines the illusions of security we build through technology and presents a scathing satire of a world caught up in climate change denial and the glorification of war.
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James Lovelock had been right when he warned at the turn of the century: "There is nothing you can do about global warming. Move north and when you get there build nuclear power plants because the people will want electricity. " The man who conceived the Gaia hypothesis was old when he made that statement, too old to act on his advice himself, and no one listened. Populations did not begin to shift until the south became too uncomfortable, until the Great Plains began to become the great desert.
There were still people who lived in places like San Diego but they didn't come out in the summer, stayed huddled in air conditioned spaces and waited for a cool breeze off the Pacific. But places like Phoenix and Houston were completely empty. The determined ones tried to stay, tried to keep their cities alive, but nothing lives without water, and when the reservoirs dried and the aquifers drained, the people left. Those with portable wealth left first, those with land tried to stay, but when heat stroke became the leading cause of death, they too followed the exodus north until only the very poor remained and the sand and dust from the desert came on the hot wind and buried them. By the time Arizona got its solar power projects up and running, it was too late. Even with power for their air conditioning, people couldn't live without water.
La Ronge became a city, small at first, manageable, mostly a tourist centre, a place where people came to get out of the heat, and resorts ringed the lake. There had been political and legal battles, some hard fought, mostly over energy and resources that the corporations won easily, won the land on the shore, won hotels and spas, won fishing concessions and water rights.
More people came, people who couldn't afford to indulge in the resorts, people who came to stay, brought their families with them, wanted homes and schools and hospitals, and with their mass of numbers, crowded out the resorts and reclaimed the buildings as condominiums.
And more people came and filled the spaces between the buildings and spread into the forest. The trees they didn't take to build their homes, fell in the storm winds. Sometimes a tree didn't fall, come crashing to the ground, sometimes the winds plucked it, twisted it up, and spun it across the sky.