Episode 412: Climate Change and Big Tech: Writing the Near Future—Interview with Rebecca Scherm

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Today, Lori is interviewing Rebecca Scherm. They’ll be talking about her science fiction-thriller novel, A House Between Earth and the Moon.

Have you signed up to be a DIY MFA Radio Insider yet? This is an exciting new monthly newsletter, especially for our podcast listeners. Every month, you’ll get an email from our podcast producer with recaps of the most recent episodes, a curated Listening List of episodes on a particular theme, and other fun goodies we only share via email. Best of all, it’s free to join! The theme for June is Young Adult, and you can become an insider by signing up with your email at diymfa.com/insiders.

In this episode Rebecca Scherm and Lori discuss:

  • The psychic toll writing near-future speculative fiction can take on a parent.
  • Why it is so important to safeguard your passion and her advice for doing so.
  • What she means when she says she has a conversation with a genre.

Plus, her #1 tip for writers.

About Rebecca Scherm

Rebecca Scherm is the author of Unbecoming. She lives in California with her family.

You can find her on her website or follow her on Twitter and Instagram

For anyone interested in climate activist gardening that ordinary people can do on any scale available to them, Rebecca recommends looking at Doug Tallamy’s Homegrown National Parks project, which you can find here https://homegrownnationalpark.org/. She also recommends Tallamy’s books on the topic, especially Nature’s Best Hope: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants

A House Between Earth and the Moon

For twenty years, Alex has believed that his gene-edited super-algae will slow and even reverse the effects of climate change. His obsession with his research has jeopardized his marriage, his relationships with his kids, and his own professional future. When the Son sisters, founders of the colossal tech company Sensus, offer him a chance to complete his research, he seizes the opportunity. The catch? His lab will be in outer space on Parallaxis, the first-ever luxury residential space station built for billionaires. Alex and six other scientists leave Earth and their loved ones to become Pioneers, the beta tenants of Parallaxis.

But Parallaxis is not the space palace they were sold. Day and night, the embittered crew builds the facility under pressure from Sensus, motivated by the promise that their families will join them. At home on Earth, much of the country is ablaze in wildfires and battered by storms. In Michigan, Alex’s teenage daughter, Mary Agnes, struggles through high school with the help of the ubiquitous Sensus phones implanted in everyone’s ears, archiving each humiliation, and wishing she could go to Parallaxis with her father—but her mother will never allow it.

The Pioneers are the beta testers of another program, too: Sensus is designing an algorithm that will predict human behavior. Katherine Son hires Tess, a young social psychologist, to watch the experiment’s subjects through their phones—including not only the Pioneers, but Katherine’s sister, Rachel. Tess begins to develop an intimate, obsessive relationship with her subjects. When Tess and Rachel travel to Parallaxis, the controlled experiment begins to unravel.

Prescient and insightful, A House Between Earth and the Moon is at once a captivating epic about the machinations of big tech and profoundly intimate meditation on the unmistakably human bonds that hold us together.

If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!

Link to Episode 412

(Right-click to download.)

If you liked this episode…

Head over to iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Spotify, or Google and subscribe so you’ll be first to know when new episodes are available.

Also, remember that sharing is caring so if you know anyone who might enjoy this podcast, please tell them about it or leave us a review so other listeners will want to check it out.

Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!

Enjoyed this article?