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Sci-Fi Author Neal Stephenson tackles Global Warming Solutions in ‘Termination Shock’



There’s a Neal Stephenson Renaissance Going on Due to one Single Word

Metaverse. In case you’ve not heard of it, metaverse is the term that was coined by Stephenson in his dystopian novel “Snow Crash” to denote a virtual artificial world of corporate exploitation. In all its ironic glory the name, or a shortened version thereof, “Meta” was appropriated as a re-branding vehicle for that empire of corporate greed and exploitation… Facebook.

So then, what better backdrop for the new novel to launch, and with a potentially even more timely theme, could there be other than, namely, the looming destruction our planet faces due to climate change and excessive carbon emissions. Moreover, the lack of human cooperation needed to overcome greed and stupidity in order to resume ourselves.

If this particular perspective on a fictional, but perhaps, soon, all too real, set of circumstances, is not spot on, there is nevertheless a great need for these questions to be addressed.

After all it is ultimately the cooperation and consensus of the entire planet that will be necessary to find, and more importantly, implement a solution that will prevent armageddon.

Perhaps the newly intensified focus on the future – fantasies, but also concerns and disaster aversion planning, is just what is needed. Perhaps authors, artists, engineers and even an average citizen can begin today and find the thread of change in thinking, and ultimately, living that’s needed for all our survival.


One man – visionary billionaire restaurant chain magnate T. R. Schmidt, Ph.D. – has a Big Idea for reversing global warming, a master plan perhaps best described as “elemental.” But will it work? And just as important, what are the consequences for the planet and all of humanity should it be applied?

Ranging from the Texas heartland to the Dutch royal palace in the Hague, from the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas to the sunbaked Chihuahuan Desert, Termination Shock brings together a disparate group of characters from different cultures and continents who grapple with the real-life repercussions of global warming. Ultimately, it asks the question: Might the cure be worse than the disease? 

Epic in scope while heartbreakingly human in perspective, Termination Shock sounds a clarion alarm, ponders potential solutions and dire risks, and wraps it all together in an exhilarating, witty, mind-expanding speculative adventure.

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