Warpworld is not a book (or series) with a message. Let me be clear about that. No message. None. Zero. Zip. Josh and I did not sit down with an agenda when we wrote the first book. Heck, we didn’t even sit down with a plot outline. The story demanded to be told and we have spent the ensuing years as its helpless caj.
…the authors are simply laying these cultures out there as things that exist, rather than proxies for someone’s ideals or warnings of where we might end up.
Having said that, the story had to start somewhere and that was with a premise, a couple of main characters, and a lot of world building. When it comes to the world building, this is very much a case of write what you know. It’s no surprise that Josh, who lives in the arid desert environment of west Texas, laid the foundation for Seg’s barren world and I, an ocean-loving tree-hugger who resides in the lush wilderness of western British Columbia, created Ama’s watery world. The two worlds are starkly different. This was a conscious and deliberate choice but its purpose was to create conflict, (a necessary ingredient of fiction), not to set a stage for environmental finger wagging.
Having said that, it’s no secret that protecting the world’s oceans is something I am passionate about. People like Wyland, David Suzuki, Rob Stewart, and many more, inspire me and keep alive my hope for a healthy ocean ecosystem for the generations that come after mine.
So, there’s no message in my fiction, but there is love. If you also love the ocean and would like to do something about it, here are 50 ideas for you.
1. Visit the Beach!
2. Don’t buy anything made from coral
3. If you eat seafood, make sure it’s sustainable
4. Support businesses that are ocean-friendly
5. Pet owners, read the label on your pet’s food – consider sustainability when choosing a brand
6. Reduce Toxic Household Pollutants
7. If you go snorkeling in the sun, put on a t-shirt and shorts instead of gooping on sunscreen
8. Support organizations that protect the ocean
9. Keep your carbon footprint small to reduce the effects of climate change on the ocean
10. Support Marine Education in schools
11. Recycle and help keep waste out of the water
12. Restore a stream, river or watershed
13. Go whale watching with a responsible guide
14. Don’t buy any product made from shark fins or cartilage
15. Dispose of chemicals properly, including prescription drugs
16. Divers – take only pictures, leave only bubbles
17. Join in a local fish count
18. Volunteer for a beach clean up
19. Don’t waste water
20. When boating, watch where you drop your anchor and try to use permanent anchoring buoys
21. Boycott any place that keeps marine mammals in captivity
22. Watch a documentary about the ocean and its inhabitants – Blue Planet is a wonderful start
23. Boaters, go slow around Manatees
24. Anglers, adhere to local limits and consider catch and release fishing
25. Join a marine mammal rescue center
26. Choose environmentally friendly detergents and cleaners
27. Volunteer at a marine sanctuary
28. Plant native species in your yard and reduce the amount of grass, to help keep fertilizer from seeping into the ocean
29. Don’t release non-native species into the wild
30. Don’t buy Sea Turtle products
31. Do your homework before you travel – choose beach resorts that are environmentally responsible
32. Anglers, dispose of fishing line responsibly
33. Tread carefully when exploring tide pools
34. Take your kids to play in the water – surfing, sailing, swimming
35. Use less plastic
36. Aquarium owners, only buy fish that have been collected in an environmentally responsible manner
37. Don’t touch coral when you dive or snorkel
38. Don’t feed wild marine animals
39. Learn your local maritime history
40. Report dumping or other illegal activities
41. Never chase or harass marine wildlife
42. If you see trash on the beach, pick it up
43. Use cloth or re-usable grocery bags to keep plastic bags out of the water
44. Learn about tides, navigation, and ocean currents
45. When watching ocean wildlife, keep a respectful distance
46. Keep oil off your shore
47. Cut the rings of plastic six-pack holders. Aquatic life and birds can become entangled in them.
48. Maintain your boats, cars, and other heavy equipment to reduce oil leaks
49. Be a blue boater
50. Celebrate the ocean and spread the word!
“Blood for water.”