‘The Little Gods Who Cooled the Earth’ is a (free) novel by Geoff Petty which has been shortlisted for the International Green Story Prize. We believe this is the first Live Novel, as it will be updated when necessary.
Just below, you can click to read brilliant reviews, and click to download it for free. There is a summary of the novel below.
- as a pdf (best for phones, Kindle, Clara HD, Aura, Forma, etc,
- as an ebook:
- We plan a paperback, whether Geoff finds a publisher or not.
Most of the following text is also available as a video explanation here:
Why Geoff Petty wrote the novel.
There is a real need for a hopeful novel about the climate crisis. The largest and most careful collection of scientists ever assembled tells us we are lemmings stampeding towards a cliff. The climate crisis. And in these apocalyptic times, what stories do our novelists and film-makers tell us? All their heroes run scared from the monster of climate breakdown, to fight imaginary villains and computer-generated aliens.
The stories that DO address the defining issue of our time, are nearly all set AFTER the climate collapse, AFTER mass extinctions, after societal meltdown: they are dystopias where innocent citizens flounder in the aftermath created by the inaction of our present generation.
What good is that? Why sap our hope when we need hope most? I genuinely think such stories are harmful. As Chomsky said, “If you assume there is no hope, you guarantee there will be no hope”.
So I’ve written that hopeful novel. A tale that turns the spotlight on the real villains: a fossil fuel industry that bribes our politicians, captures our governments, bankrolls denial, and promotes the kamikaze belief that we can continue to poison our own planet.
But my story is not Utopian. It confronts scientific, political and economic reality head on, it shows what evil forces are up to, much of which is surprising but has happened in reality. But it’s a story that ends well, with a faith in the future, with laughs and love, full of the optimism that can rage so deep in the human spirit.
I was delighted when it was short listed for the international Green Story Prize.
How does the story go?
The novel is set in the near future. Lewis Proctor, a fading rock star kidnaps the daughters of the chief executive of a global oil company, hides them in the Scilly Islands, and demands the oil company converts to selling renewable energy. The girls are furious, escape on a rowing boat, but are swept out to sea – will they survive? Proctor is imprisoned. On release he discovers his real enemy is a secretive Network of super-rich men intent on selling their vast oil reserves, despite knowing this will ravage the planet. This Network has used its vast wealth to corrupt both social media and mainstream media, to bribe politicians and to control political parties. In a daring deception Proctor neuters the Network’s power, and starts an avalanche of popular uprising where pranksters, soil scientists, school children, local heroes and activists force changes that begin to cool the earth.
Why is an educationalist writing stories?
Stories, or ‘narratives’ are far more important than many realise. They speak to our souls, inspire our morality, and so they help to create our future. But at present we are telling ourselves the wrong stories, and I hope, with your help, to publish a story that tells the truth but points the way to a habitable planet in tune with nature. A story that inspires, but is grounded in rigorous research.
Why not download the first few chapters and give it a try!
For many decades I’ve been an internationally recognised author – an expert on how to teach. I’ve three books published by Oxford University Press, best sellers in their fields, they’ve been translated into Chinese, Russian, and many other languages. I’ve delivered training in hundreds of colleges and schools at home and abroad. But despite my passion for education I’ve almost abandoned it, because I know the looming climate and ecological crises are far more important. It’s all hands on deck.
I’ve written three novels, one got serious attention from Clarissa Rushdie and other top literary agents, and I’ve won prizes in national poetry competitions and, as I’ve said, this novel was short listed for the international Green Story Prize.
Uniquely I want to publish my novel in an up-dateable format (using print on demand) so that the climate science, social media abuse, and politics in the story are all smack up to date. It’s written to be pretty future proof, but it will be updated where necessary.
Why isn’t a conventional publisher interested in this novel despite very appreciative noises? I’m guessing because the story tells the truth, it points fingers at dark money, and secretive fossil fuel organisations, where there are deep pockets and unprincipled lawyers. Also an up-dateable novel is an odd notion for them. But I want my story to follow our end-times, or our escape from them, wherever this leads, waving the flag of hope in the face of catastrophe. I hope you will help it on its way by reading it, telling others about it, or supporting its publication. Then together we can become part of the change we hope to see in our world.
Please pass this message on to those you care about. Let’s not let panicky, pigeon hearted publishers stamp out my truth telling tale. Let’s show a little defiance, and put a little hope back into our hearts.
Lewis Proctor an aging rock star has a plot to stop climate change. He kidnaps the daughters of an oil company boss, hides them in the Scilly Islands, and demands change. The girls escape and Proctor is imprisoned. On release he discovers a secretive network of mega-rich men intent on selling their vast oil reserves, which will ravage the planet: this is his real enemy. In a daring deception Proctor imprisons and hides this network, neutering its power, and starts an avalanche of popular uprising that begins to cool the earth.
The politics, economics, and science mentioned have all been very carefully researched. For example most people haven’t heard of the network, but it exists.
The story is set in the near future. Lewis Proctor is an aging rock musician from an aristocratic family, renowned for his theatrical live performances. He kidnaps the two daughters of the head of Global Oil, who is told to convert to clean energy if he wants his daughters back. Lewis and his wife Alexis hide Safa (aged 18) and Imogen (8), on a beautiful Scilly island, but the girls are furious and determined to escape. Alexis considers mutiny, but before she can act the two girls try to row to safety. They are swept out to sea with no food and little water.
Do they hallucinate due to dehydration? As the thirsty hours wear on unborn souls seeking life on earth visit the girls asking them to help leave the planet in a habitable state.
The girls survive after much false hope, and Lewis Proctor is imprisoned for kidnapping. A documentary maker interviews him in prison, accusing him of kidnapping and insurrection, but he fiercely defends himself saying it is the politicians betting against the laws of physics, not he, who is the demented radical.
After release from prison Lewis Proctor discovers his real enemy, Rex Cook, one of the richest men on earth. Cook heads a clandestine network of 18 fossil fuel owning multi-billionaires, which bribes politicians to favour fossil fuels over clean energy, spreads lies to deny climate change, puts fake news on social media to get the politicians they control elected, while claiming the costs against tax. The network’s spectacular wealth is doubling every four years and they are intent on selling all their fossil fuel resources – even though it will make the Earth uninhabitable.
The network meets in a luxurious hotel in California from time to time. Lewis Proctor has a plan, but it requires the help of Safa to get into the hotel. She refuses, arguing that Proctor’s maverick actions will bring legitimate protest about the environment into disrepute. Proctor says the network has captured the whole democratic process and his plan to capture the network is the only hope of salvation. Safa refuses to help him steal in to the network’s hotel meeting, but Imogen agrees.
Proctor and a team of activists, fool and ingeniously capture the network, imprisoning them in a Californian desert hideaway to prevent them using their riches to manipulate the next US Presidential election. Proctor loses control of his hoax to more radical activists and darker forces take over. He is sent to be shot, but escapes.
As a result of Proctor’s efforts, the US President controlled by the network, is denied funds for his re-election campaign. He loses the election to a greener President.
Lewis Proctor inspires a series of viral social media driven campaigns where individuals divert their taxes to environmental ends. If politicians won’t heed the scientists’ advice on how to cool the earth, then they will spend their taxes to do so. The politicians fight these campaigns but there are too many people involved, they can’t imprison them all, so politicians give in and follow the scientific advice.
New laws now require Rex Cook to offset the carbon created by the use of the aero-fuel he sells. He has to seek out businesses that capture carbon and is forced to invest in them. Among other initiatives, this slowly begins to cool the earth.
A love story between Safa and a political refugee intertwines with this main narrative.
(The science and the politics in this story are built firmly on reality. The plot is more plausible and more comic than this synopsis can show.
Does a group of billionaires really use billions of dollars to control the media, politicians, political parties and the state? Yes. The best reference is ‘Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.‘ by Jane Mayer a highly respected award winning journalist. The book was one of The New York Times’ Top 10 Books of the Year.
Here is a review of the book, which is an astonishing read and has great reviews.
This issue happens mainly in the US but in the UK too: https://www.ft.com/content/f42f9aa2-16ba-11ea-8d73-6303645ac406
Does putting charcoal in the earth really improve fertility and sequester carbon? Yes. The idea is centuries old and the earth is called Terra Preta (Black earth).