Before L.E. Modesitt, Jr. wrote best-selling sci-fi and fantasy novels, he worked on Capitol Hill. Specifically he was the director of EPA’s office of legislation and congressional affairs during the Reagan administration. And not surprisingly, Modesitt’s novels focus on the politics of environmental issues. From his early novel, The Green Progression, to his Ecolitan series, Modesitt’s plots frequently involve biological warfare and environmental disasters. More broadly, as in the recent Imager and the forthcoming Haze, Modesitt’s characters struggle with “various aspects of power, how it changes people, and how government systems work and how they don’t.”
Fortnightly sought Modesitt’s perspective on the environmental and political challenges facing the U.S. utility industry today.
Fortnightly: Where is the green movement headed? Is it sustainable, given all the other major upheavals happening in the world—most notably, the financial crisis?
Modesitt: When it gets right down to it, people will opt for whatever inconveniences them the least and doesn’t cost too much.