Extinction Notice

Tales of a Warming Earth

Fiction - Anthology
516 Pages
Reviewed on 04/02/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

David Harten Watson has had a lifelong interest in clean energy and gets 100% of his home electricity from solar power. He is the author of the Magicians Gold series, including Magic Teacher's Son (a 2016 Eric Hoffer Award Winner, 2016 First Horizon Award Finalist, 2016 Eric Hoffer Award Grand Prize Short List, and 2015 IAN Book of the Year Award Finalist) and its sequel, Fortress of Gold. David is a full member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), US Army Brotherhood of Tankers (USABOT), LDS (Mormon) Church, Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, and The Saber Legion.

David has worked in a dizzying array of jobs including U.S. Army Armor officer at Fort Knox (experience that came in handy for his second novel, Fortress of Gold), camp counselor, teacher, tax preparer, car salesman, portrait photographer, track photographer, solar energy entrepreneur, and computer programmer.

Raised in snowy Buffalo, New York, David graduated from Calasanctius School and has degrees from Princeton, Canisius College, and Buffalo State College. He's the Organizer of the Woodbridge Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Meetup, which he founded in 2008. In his free time, David enjoys kayaking and acting (he had a major role in the feature-length, no-budget horror movie Coordinates, filmed in New Jersey). He lives with his wife (a native of Ecuador, not Eldor), their two sons, and two cats in New Jersey, where in his day job he's an IT Specialist.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

There is something quite scary about an anthology that clocks in at over 500 pages being entirely about the end of humanity. It turns out, there is also something terribly entertaining about it as well. David Harten Watson has collated the work of several extremely talented authors to create Extinction Notice, a compilation of eco-fiction short stories in eight parts. There is also a sprinkling of poems and a couple of songs to flesh out a book stretching over from a pre-historic start date of 250,000,000 BC to 2301 AD and beyond. Watson's literati hail from everywhere and feature writers like Fabiyas M V, a poet from India and his poem Sunburn, American James Lipson and his flash fiction piece Vacation Time, England's own Taria Karillion with the short story The Highs and Lows of Barefoot Pleasure, and Scottish author Russell Hemmell's super-future-fiction story, The Happy Colony by the Sea.

Extinction Notice is a timely collection with just enough levity so the reader does not feel they are being preached to and just enough weight to start a reader down the road of thoughtful self-examination; both being delivered in a blend of science fiction and satire. The diversity of storytelling that David Harten Watson gives us in this book kept me from feeling as if the anthology is a rehashing of the same ideas from the same author, which is a problem I have experienced in similar volumes. Here, we get a delicious mix that is fresh and exciting. You don't know what will come next and that is what makes it so much fun. Some Like It Cold is a hilarious science-fiction story that turns Earth into a luxury vacation destination, albeit one with terrorism issues. A vacationer comments on the trip: “Well, the deposit had already been paid, and as long as you just stay away from the bad areas, Earth is still a lovely vacation spot.” This book is a vacation of its own and an escape that still keeps its finger on the pulse of “who knows, we might someday, maybe...”

Jamie Michele

Extinction Notice: Tales of a Warming Earth is a compilation of original short stories, poems, and flash fiction curated by David Harten Watson with a science-fiction, revisionist, and speculative twist. Watson has cleverly used the term “cli-fi” for the overriding theme of environmental assault and the repercussions presented in each independent story. The book is broken down into six parts by timeline, beginning with The Past (250,000,000 BC to January 2021) and concluding with Part Seven: The Twenty-Third Century (2201 to 2300 AD). All told, there are forty-one pieces that range in length, tone, and tenor, from Watson's direct and cutting Donald the Crooked President, a melody to sing along to the tune of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, to Rann Murray's Man Moon, a nearly thirty-page short story about a scrap-salvaging family in the asteroid belt with the futuristic equivalent of a podcast who find more than the typical space debris; the consequences of which may hold a foreboding preview of what's to come.

I love a good anthology and the bite-sized format of fiction, so David Harten Watson's Extinction Notice was the perfect fit to satiate that hunger. The beauty of the book is in the variety of voices presented that highlight the skill and storytelling ability of its contributors, something that is not usually accomplished in a volume with a single author. My favorite piece is Earth-seed by Tara Calaby, about a botanist named Dawn aboard the colony vessel Ark, who finds herself in a desperate race against time to save a seed bank; the final vestiges of gene diversity and food source from an Earth that is no longer habitable. She also quite literally comes face to face with the deadly reality that an elitist mindset lives on, regardless of where in the universe humans remain. In creating the book, Watson has given a platform to storytellers so they might easily share their stories as a community to all of us readers. Without this, it is unlikely most of us would ever know the names of some of these authors, which would be a tragic thing, indeed. Overall, this is an excellent collection that I have no doubt will warm the hearts and tickle the imaginations of its readers.

K.C. Finn

Extinction Notice: Tales of a Warming Earth is a collection of fascinating stories, poems, and songs in the environmental, climate, and science fiction subgenres. This ensemble collection contains a diverse collection of authors and was collated and edited by David Harten Watson. The work is intended for the general reading audience from teens upward but does contain some stories with a pre-warning of more mature content such as explicit language or scenes of violence. From tales of political decisions gone horribly wrong to the prospect of sharing our planet with robots and even aliens, these forward-thinking and socially conscious works explore the effects of climate change on our planet, now and in the future.

I am a huge fan of climate fiction and I enjoy seeing as much variety in the presentation and genre of material as possible. David Harten Watson has put together an ideal collection for enthusiasts and newcomers to the genre alike, delivering a wonderful variety of entertaining and genuinely frightening realities to explore. Some particular favorites came from the later near-future section of the work; for example, Taria Karillion’s unique culturally comparative perspective in “The Highs and Lows of Barefoot Pleasure”, and the ingeniously inventive “The Great Greenland Quilting Bee” by J.G. Follansbee. But all in all, every single story had its own charm and style and was based on interesting and thought-provoking ideas about climate problems and, perhaps more importantly, the consequences and/or solutions that the future may bring, depending on how we act now. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend Extinction Notice to readers from all walks of life. Get yourself a copy now.

Thomas Wm Hamilton

After reading the entire book, I don't know whether to be hopeful or terrified of the future, but at least I enjoyed the read.