This public newsgroup is devoted to discussing nature/environmental themes found in literature and the arts. The scope is broad in that there are so many topics that fall under this umbrella, including, but not limited to: ecocriticism, genres, writing styles, novels and prose, favorite authors and directors, journalism, new photography and film efforts, other performance art (dance, song, music, theater), and so on. Nearly every art type there is, from fiction writing to filming to quilting, has niche areas that focus on environmental (human impact on nature) or nature (non-human stories) narratives, messages, myth, and just good, old-fashioned stories that move, inspire, and even change.
About the Group
Who is in this group?
The members consist of novelists, poets, journalists, scientists, artists of all kinds, environmental activists, readers, and many others coming from different walks of life and from all over the world.
Our moderators help keep the group active and help to promote the group. I’d like to personally thank the moderating team:
Brian Burt won the Gold Award for his short story “The Last Indian War,” in the Writers of the Future Contest, and has been published in small press anthologies, genre magazines, and online publications. He is currently writing the environmentally themed Aquarius Rising trilogy, which is published by Double Dragon Publishing. His debut novel, the first part of the trilogy, In the Tears of God, won the 2014 EPIC e-book award for science fiction. The second novel, Blood Tide, has also been released, and Brian is currently working on the third book, The Price of Eden. This sci-fi/fantasy trilogy of novels stems from Brian’s passion for environmental themes, exploring a potential future in the wake of accelerating climate change when a disastrous attempt to reverse global warming goes horribly wrong. The series focuses on human-dolphin hybrids called Aquarians, who have built thriving reef communities among the drowned human cities along the coasts but are caught in an escalating struggle with human scientists determined to restore the continental wastelands at any cost. Brian brings to our moderating team a background in science fiction, fantasy, weird and dark fiction, and horror. He hopes to continue writing speculative-themed eco-novels. He also enjoys reading, cycling, hiking, horseplay, red wine, and local craft brews. Read more here.
Charlene D’Avanzo is an award-winning environmental educator and marine ecologist who taught at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts for 35 years. She won the 2015 Mystery Writers of America McCloy prize for new writers. The first book in her Oceanography Mystery Series, Cold Blood, Hot Sea, was published by Torrey House Press in May 2016. An avid seakayaker, she lives in Yarmouth, Maine.
Jessica Groenendijk: I got to know Jessica when she wrote to me about her writing, photography, and field work. Jessica is a Dutch biologist turned conservationist and writer. She was born in Colombia and has lived in Burkina Faso, Holland, Tanzania and England. She crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice on a sailboat between the ages of 6 and 10, worked with black rhinos in Zambia and giant otters in Peru, and now lives in Cusco. Jessica is a keen reader, adventurous traveler, and amateur photographer of people, wildlife and landscapes. Last but not least, she is a wife and a mother of two, and a big believer in connecting children and their families to nature.
Michael Rothenberg (honorary admin of the group): I met Michael in 1999 when he sent me his novel Punk Rockwell (now out of print, but one of my favorite eco-fictions ever). We had an immediate literary connection and co-founded Jack Magazine together, which is now archived at Stanford University; we republished works by Gregory Corso, Ira Cohen, Angus Maclise (original drummer for the Velvet Underground), Michael McClure, and many others. Michael is an American poet, songwriter, editor, and active environmentalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Born in Miami Beach, Florida, Rothenberg received his Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Afterward, he moved to California in 1976, where he began “Shelldance Nursery”, an orchid and bromeliad nursery. In 1993 he received his MA in Poetics at New College of California. In 1989, Rothenberg and artist Nancy Davis began Big Bridge Press, a fine print literary press, publishing works by Jim Harrison, Joanne Kyger, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Whalen and others. Rothenberg is editor of Big Bridge, a webzine of poetry. Rothenberg is also co-editor and co-founder of Jack Magazine, He is the editor of Overtime, Selected Poems by Philip Whalen; As Ever, Selected Poems by Joanne Kyger; David’s Copy, Selected Poems by David Meltzer; Way More West, Selected Poems by Ed Dorn (Penguin, 2007); and Collected Poems of Philip Whalen (Wesleyan University Press, 2007). Rothenberg’s poems have appeared in several journals. In 1990 Rothenberg began writing songs. His songs have appeared in films by Hollywood Pictures, Shadowhunter and Black Day, Blue Night. (sources: Big Bridge and Wiki).
Thanks also to Paul Collins, who helped moderate the group when his schedule was more free. I got to spend time with Paul when he traveled all the way from Bristol to take part in a book launch with me. He feels like a brother to me now, and I hope to see more of his writing in the future!
Mary Woodbury writes eco-fiction under pen name Clara Hume. Her climate change change novel Back to the Garden was published in the autumn of 2013 and later was discussed at Dissent Magazine as part of an emerging genre of similar novels. Mary graduated Purdue University with degrees in English literature and cultural anthropology. During college, her senior archeology team received honors and an invitation to join the Indiana Archeology Society for the summer. She went on to establish an editorial career, running Jack Magazine for a decade with co-founder Michael Rothenberg. The magazine is currently archived at Stanford University’s LOCKSS program.
Since moving to British Columbia, Canada, in 2008. Mary has been involved with stewardship of the Fraser River and Burrard Inlet. She also volunteered for the Suzkui Foundation’s Blue Dot Campaign, a grassroots campaign to promote the legal right to a healthy environment for all Canadians. She currently volunteers for (and runs in) the Great Climate Race and a local Streamkeepers group. She is writing another climate change novel in the weird fiction genre. Mary is a program assistant at a local college and has studied video journalism. She also runs Moon Willow Press, a small, independent book publisher with goals of celebrating the written word while helping to sustain forests. Mary enjoys reading, collecting old books, hiking, bookbinding, drinking red wine, camping, writing, gardening, and trail running.
In order to prevent this group from descending into the unreadable types of posts in many comments sections on the ol’ internet, the following problem areas may mean that posts will be removed. Note that we have never removed anyone from the group (except spammers and one user who kept breaking the posting rules) and try to tolerate a lot!
- Keep it civil: Ad hominem attacks and lack of respect for others are not welcome here; this includes personal attacks, bullying, threats, importing drama, and harassing others.
- Illegal and not-work-safe text or images.
- Sourcing news: please respect copyright and link articles rather than copying them. Excerpts are fine. E-mails are confidential and may not be shared, nor are they reliable news sources.
- Indecipherable walls of texts, bad grammar, etc. are not allowed.
- This is not the place to debate climate change. This group accepts that climate change is happening and talks about ways to artistically explore it.
- Content unrelated to climate or nature themes in literature and the arts unless it is ad-lib in context.
- Repeat posts will be deleted; please check the group to be sure your article was not recently posted.
- No harassment of authors for their preference of genres. No forcing of genre labels. This has led to a lot of drama in the past.
- Blatant advertising without contribution. Spam spam spam spam, lovely spam! Wonderful spam (as much as we love Monty Python). Spam means that you are advertising products and services that are either unrelated or not related enough to the content.
Nobody gets removed for lack of activity. Lurking is fine. We do appreciate active participation, however, of course, because diverse examples of works and perspectives lead to more interesting discussions. Also, fly-bys who promote their work but fail to participate in other discussions may have their advertising removed. This is to encourage community discussion rather than only self-promotion.
I write non-fiction. Can I join?
Of course! We welcome discussions of all nature writings and art in this community group. Journalism, ecocriticism, research, essay writing, and scientific articles are just a few examples of works promoted in this group. This group is an extended branch of eco-fiction.com and covers more ground.
Can I debate climate change in this community?
We have very few rules on this forum. One of them is that climate change debates are not allowed. There are other places to debate the subject–and it is our experience that in those areas posters generally are not respectful of others’ opinions. We want to stick to the relevant subject matter and not bog down the community with arguing and disrespectful attitudes. However, discussions about climate change as it relates to our books is allowable.
Can I promote my book or art here?
Sure, under two conditions:
1. Your work has a nature/climate/eco-focus.
2. The promoter doesn’t do a fly-by, but sticks around to participate in other discussions. Being an active member of the group is likely to get people more interested in your work.
Note: Feel free to delete posts that are old and have fallen away if you want to re-promote your book or artwork. Please wait at least a month and ensure that you are also participating in other discussions.
My book is not at your website.
To recommend that a book is added to our site, please post about it in our Google+ community or write to me via email. There are some very minimal notability requirements, so if your book doesn’t quite fit yet, just try to get a good review or two in the media or a few positive ratings on Amazon and Goodreads. Then remind me again after that.
Also, because we are just now expanding into archiving other nature novels, it will be a long process to include the key books in the expanded eco-fiction category. Thanks for your patience! Please note that our site is in no way exhaustive. We are trying to provide a good sampling of books.
My art is not at your website.
We are currently expanding Eco-fiction.com to include a database of climate change films, photography, and other art. There’s no way we will ever be able to list all works in the broad category of eco-fiction, but we do try to get the most notable and list further reference sites. Please view our evolving Other Media and Arts article, and please contact us or post in the group to suggest an addition to that article. Our twitter feed, and the community group, are outreach efforts for people to find out news tidbits or to engage in conversation. Feel free to come into our group and talk about your work.
Navigation and Layout
How do I navigate around this community?
The more I have looked at Google+, the more I like it as a discussion place. There are two or three columns of posts when the screen is maximized (depending on screen resolution), rather than one (like with FB, Twitter), and it’s ad-free. The details about the group are very prominent, and we can categorize posts, post polls, etc.
If you are having problems finding the group, you can either bookmark the site or just find it from your Google Apps icon when you are signed into Google.
Secondly, if you make a new post, you can pull down a category listing. This is helpful for finding articles later. If you have written a post and it has moved down the page due to newer posts, you can easily find it by looking at new alarms on your post (see the bell icon on the upper right). You can also link to posts and find them later that way.
Make sure you view All Posts to see everything posted.
I do not want to be notified every time there is a change or new post in this community.
Totally understood! That would be annoying. It’s easy to turn off your notifications by just visiting the Google+ Community and making sure that the red alarm icon on the left side of the page says “Notifications off”. If it says “Notifications on”, just click it once to disable notifications. This is only viewable if you are signed into your Google account. I think, however, that the default for these notifications is OFF.
I am worried about my privacy.
Whether you post in a private or public group, whether on Facebook, Google+, or other media, it’s hard to remain completely private. With Google+, you can set your privacy settings in order to remain as private as possible. You can also report, block, or mute others.
I wrote something, but it is not showing up.
Though we do not moderate new posts, Google sometimes does, and it seems random. It is Google’s built-in spam protection. As soon as a moderator sees your post, he or she will approve it as long as it’s relevant.
I am having problems commenting.
Make sure that you are logged into your Google account! Also, the Google+ group does not work well in Internet Explorer. It’s highly suggested to use the most updated version of either Chrome or Firefox.
I can’t find this group without going to Mars and back. Help!
Bookmark this site: https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/115741961764552168724. Another way to find the group is to be logged into Google. Click the little grid icon that shows Google’s apps. Select Google+ (a red g+). From there, look on the top left side of your screen, select Home, then Communities, then “Eco-themes in literature and art” (our group). This is a roundabout way of finding the group, which is why I suggest just bookmarking it.
Update: You can also just visit http://eco-fiction.com/chat, which will redirect you to the group.
What are the categories about?
I’ve put some categories up for now that will help posters and readers to find what they want.