climate change

Slow Catastrophes, Uncertain Revivals: Stories Inspired by Project Hieroglyph

April 7, 2016 in Hieroglyph

Slow Catastrophes, Uncertain RevivalsSlow Catastrophes, Uncertain Revivals Cover is a collection of research-based stories about the future, proudly published by Project Hieroglyph. The book features stories created by students in “Slow Catastrophes, Speculative Futures, Science & Imagination: Rewriting and Rethinking Sustainability,” a course designed and taught by Dr. Michele Speitz at Furman University in South Carolina.

The course and the stories in this volume were inspired by Project Hieroglyph, particularly by our first anthology, Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future (2014), which the students read and discussed throughout the course – along with a wealth of scholarly readings on sustainability, ecocriticism, international development, narrative, and ecology.

The book is edited by Michele Speitz and Joey Eschrich, and designed by Ariel Shamas. It features stories from Graham Browning, Anna Peterson, Elisa Edmonson, Elly Gay, and Hagan Capnerhurst.  It’s free for anyone to read and share, under a Creative Commons license. Download and read it today!

We also hope that this volume serves as an invitation to educators everywhere: bring us your big ideas! If you’re using Hieroglyph as part of an educational experience, or if you use Slow Catastrophes, Uncertain Revivals, or if you’d like to collaborate with us on a project, please contact us at



Hieroglyph Contributors Featured in New Climate Fiction Anthology

October 8, 2015 in Hieroglyph

Cover of the anthology "Loosed Upon the World," showing a cloudy sky rendered in dark blues and shades of gray.Climate fiction is a burgeoning genre in the crowded literary landscape – but it has been making waves lately. Think pieces on the growth of this particular flavor of storytelling abound, films like Snowpiercer use “cli-fi” as a backdrop for action and adventure, and earlier this summer the award-winning digital magazine Matter featured a series of essays and short fiction exploring futures shaped by climate change, including a lengthy contribution from Margaret Atwood.

Now, a definitive collection of short climate fiction can be found in the new anthology Loosed Upon the World, edited by John Joseph Adams. Featuring stories from new voices and luminaries in the field, including Atwood, Kim Stanley Robinson, Paolo Bacigalupi, and several Hieroglyph contributors, the book provides provocative, sometimes-startling images not so far removed from today’s reality.

In his introduction to the anthology, Paolo Bacigalupi posits that overly sunny techno-optimism is too easy a position to take in the face of a looming crisis. Dreaming of a futuristic innovative solution is easier than mindfully confronting the social, cultural, and political challenges that bedevil us right now — several of which are examined by the authors included in the collection.

Stories featured in Loosed Upon the World include “The Precedent,” in which author Sean McMullen offers a vision of future eco-justice that rivals 17th century Salem; Tobias S. Buckell’s “The Rainy Season” considers one particularly strange side-effect of bioengineering a species to deal with human pollution; and Charlie Jane Anders’ “The Day It All Ended” (originally published in the Hieroglyph anthology) provides a satirical view of rampant consumerism.

While none of the twenty-six tales here provide a turnkey solution to the problem of climate change, the collected works offer a human perspective on a topic that is so often saddled with divisive rhetoric. While it’s all too easy to ignore policy briefs on climate change, narratives about the struggles of our fellow humans have power to move and unite us.  Storytelling might well change the future – but it requires an engaged audience to turn imagination into action. Loosed Upon the World and its writers have taken the first step in publishing this collection. The stories within remind us that what happens next is up to all of us.


Bob Beard is a fan of fandom. From Browncoats to Bronies, SCA members, Trekkers, Steampunks and more, Bob is passionate about understanding the performance and identity practices within various fandoms as well as creation of experiences for members of these groups to publicly advocate for themselves and their ideas. Bob is a Marine Corps veteran and double alumnus of Arizona State University, with a master's degree in Communication Studies and a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a humanities emphasis.