From the bestselling author of Weetzie Bat comes a stunning reimagining of Homer's Odyssey, exploring love, queerness, and the devastation of the environment, set in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles.
"Block’s trademark magical realism works. . . . There’s something encouraging about seeing four queer kids on an epic journey across the post-apocalyptic American Southwest." Kirkus Reviews
After the Earth Shaker, which all but destroyed Los Angeles, seventeen-year-old Penelope (Pen) sets out into the wasteland in search of her family, her journey guided by a tattered copy of Homer's Odyssey. Soon she begins to realize her own abilities and strength as she faces false promises of safety, the cloned giants who feast on humans, and a madman who wishes her dead. On her voyage, Pen learns to tell stories that reflect her strange visions, while she and her fellow surivors navigate the dangers that lie in wait.
In her signature lyrical style, Francesca Lia Block has created a world that is beautiful in its destruction and as frightening as it is lovely. Love in the Time of Global Warming has shades of science fiction, fantasy, eco-fiction, and dystopic disaster.
Praise for Love in the Time of Global Warming:
A Top Ten ALA Rainbow Project Book
"[A] compelling apocalyptic survival story with four LGBTQ teens." Common Sense Media
"Francesca Lia Block is the imaginative bestselling author of Weetzie Bat; she brings a radiant, illuminating world of death, destruction and adventure in her novel Love in the Time of Global Warming. . . . Block will make you see, smell, hear, taste and feel Pen’s story, and she will surely wisk you away into an inspiring, fantastical, Dali-esque dream world that you will never forget." Teenreads
"Francesca Lia Block has made a trademark of twining myth and reality so snugly it’s difficult to figure out where one ends and the other begins. . . . This is a fine adventure story. . . . You’ll be thinking about it for days afterward." Bookpage
"Told in Block’s distinctive whimsical style, Love in the Time of Global Warming stands out as a uniquely poignant allegory of self-acceptance. . . . The camaraderie between these four queer teens searching for a home together amid the rubble is palpable." TOR.com
"This a beautiful book. . . . [Perfect] for teens that have grown out of fairytale books but would still like to escape the real world, and also for queer teens, because they may be able to see themselves reflected in the heroes of this story, which is how it should be." GayYA.org
"A post-apocalyptic setting awash with danger brings an exhilarating twist to Block’s signature mashup of rock-and-roll urchins and high literature." Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Block writes about the real Los Angeles better than anyone since Raymond Chandler.” The New York Times Book Review
“This Halloween, bypass the usual vampires and werewolves of teen fiction for what lurks between the covers of Francesca Lia Block's brutal, beautifully written Love in the Time of Global Warming. Those fanged and furry creatures are but a sugar rush compared with Block's genetically engineered giants as she treats us to a dystopian tale tricked out in her signature lush prose.” The Washington Post
“The dreamlike quality of the writing, typical of the author's works, functions well with the fantastical elements of the story, which is solid and dense in its descriptions. This is an excellent title for students who have read Homer's Odyssey as well as readers who enjoy a mix of fantasy and reality.” School Library Journal
“The result is original and, no surprise, gracefully written. Magic is no stranger to Block's world, nor is her signature poetic sensibility. And love, in its many varieties and forms, is celebrated, as always.” Booklist
About the Author
Francesca Lia Block, winner of the prestigious Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award, is the author of many acclaimed and bestselling books, including Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books, Roses and Bones: Myths, Tales and Secrets, and the adult novel The Elementals. Her work has been translated and published around the world. She lives in Los Angeles with her two children.
Read an Excerpt
THE EARTH SHAKER
THE ROOM WAS SHAKING and I thought I knew what it was because I had been born and raised in a city built on fault lines. Everyone was always dreading something like this. But we never imagined it would be of such force and magnitude.
I called to Venice, the most beautiful, smartest, sweetest (and he would want me to add most athletic) boy in the world, “I’m coming! Are you okay?”
I imagined his body lying under boards and glass, pinned down, but when I got to him he was just huddled in the bed in the room papered with maps of the world, wearing the baseball cap he insisted on sleeping in (in spite of the stiff bill), trembling so hard I could barely gather him up in my arms. My dad came in and took him from me—my brother’s legs in too short pajama pants dangling down, his face buried in my dad’s neck as Venice cried for his fallen cap—and I got our dog, Argos, and we all ran downstairs. My mom was there, crying, and she grabbed me and I could feel her heart like a frantic butterfly through her white cotton nightgown. We ran out into the yard. The sky looked black and dead without the streetlight or the blue Christmas lights that decked our house. I could hear the ocean crashing, too close, too close. The world sliding away from us.
The tall acacia tree in the yard creaked and moaned, and then my ears rang with the silence before danger. My dad pulled us back as we watched the tree crash to the ground in a shudder of leaves and branches. My tree, the one I had strung with gold fairy lights, the one that shaded parties made for teddy bears and dolls, the tree in whose pink-blossomed branches Dad had built a wooden platform house with a rope ladder. That was where I went to read art history books and mythology, and to escape the world that now I only wanted to save.
I was holding Argos and he wriggled free and jumped down and ran away from me, toward our big pink house overgrown with morning glory vines and electric wires strung with glass bulbs. I screamed for him and my mom tried to hold me back but I was already running. I was inside.
The floor was paved with broken glass from the Christmas ornaments and family photos that had fallen. (A tall man with wild, sandy-colored hair and tanned, capable hands, a curvy, olive-skinned woman with gray eyes, an unremarkable teenage girl, an astonishingly handsome boy and a dog that was a mix of so many odd breeds it made you laugh to look at him.) My feet were bare. I reached for a pair of my mother’s suede and shearling boots by the door, yanked them on, and stepped over the glass, calling for my dog. He was yelping and growling at an invisible phantom; his paws were bleeding. I picked him up and blood streaked down my legs.
I turned to open the door but a wall of water surged toward me behind the glass pane and I put up my hands as if to hold it back, as if to part the wave.
And then I fell.
That’s all I remember of the last day of the life I once knew.
Copyright © 2013 by Francesca Lia Block
Table of Contents
The Earth Shaker,
The Pink Hand of Dawn,
Angels of the Apocalypse,
The Lotus Hotel,
The Sirens of Beverly Hills,
Beatrix the Witch,
The Museum of Angels,
The Giant's Bride,
Love in the Time of Global Warming,
Oasis of Tara,
More Than Words,
An Eye for an Eye,
Bank of the Apocalypse,
House of Then,
Preview: The Island of Excess Love,