Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Blog Tour: Future Imperfect

Speculative Fiction / Cli Fi

Date Published: Oct 2023

Publisher: BAD PRESS iNK

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It’s 2050 and climate change catastrophe isn’t the future... it’s now. And climate refugees aren’t other people... it’s you.

The streets are a spider’s web of new tributaries. Everything is underwater. Don’t worry about us, but nothing is the same anymore.

It’s 2050 and the River Rhône has flooded the town of Arles in France so Helen and Isha leave to join their adopted daughter Jana and eleven-month-old granddaughter Ayo in England.

But at Calais, they find that if Isha crosses the Channel, she will be immediately deported as her grandparents were Ugandan-Asian. Faced with the terrible dilemma, Helen chooses to remain with Isha.

Homeless and now stateless, they decide to seek refuge in a friend’s Swiss mountain chalet, but to avoid immigration checkpoints they have to walk, following the Via Francigena, an ancient pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome, and now the preferred escape corridor for refugees fleeing climate catastrophes.

Horrified at her parents embarking on such a dangerous journey, Jana resolves to follow. However, this is not so easy.

They communicate whenever and however they can while battling with exhaustion, terror, and virulent xenophobia as people struggle to protect their increasingly scarce resources.

The journey ends in Parma, Italy, a perfect destination for reasons they could never have imagined.



Praise for Future Imperfect

"Future Imperfect is a thought-provoking and timely book that explores a not-too-distant future where environmental changes and social divisions have reshaped society… It will make you reflect on the choices we make today and the impact they will have on our future."

Kumi Naidoo: Human Rights Activist

International Executive Director of Greenpeace International 2009-2015

Secretary General of Amnesty International 2018-2020

"an incredibly good read… both deeply personal and political, it will become part of the canon climate novels."

Rehad Desai

Producer / Director: Miners Shot Down (2014), How to Steal a Country (2019) and Everything Must Fall (2019)


"This is one of those rare books that becomes part of you…. An engrossing read."

Terry Shakinovsky, author and book journalist


Red Flag

Following the Via Francigena could have been a romantic rerun for Helen and Isha except that the world was falling apart, they were much older, and the sun was much hotter.

‘If I were a pilgrim, I would have given up on God by now,’ Helen said, during a midday break.

But tonight will be different, Isha thought. Wisques is where we first met, and I’m going to find a hotel to celebrate. I wonder if she’ll remember.

Every French town, of whatever size, wears its commercial outer periphery like a dowager’s necklace, lumpen and ugly. The reduced commercial activity could have offered an opportunity to remove it, but the burghers of Wisques had had other priorities. The retail outlets were abandoned and empty, apart from packs of stray dogs.

As Helen and Isha walked into the centre, Helen sniffed the air and smelt decay. Most of the shops had been rendered redundant by the tradernet years ago, so it was no surprise to see their empty windows staring back at them, but even the numerous restaurants and cafes – the last cohesive element in a community – had been reduced to a single shabby bar. When Isha pointed out the once imposing gothic chapel, Helen commented that its dilapidated state proved religion had also become a side issue, and not a moment too soon.

‘Do you remember when we went in there to see the wall paintings by François Mes?’ Isha asked.

‘I remember you insisting for so long that I finally gave in. Hard to believe anyone could find love in a place

like this.’

‘You remembered!’ Isha punched the air. ‘But actually, there wasn’t much love. You said I was gate crashing your party.’


About the Author

After clambering up and falling through a 20m roof at school (avoiding lessons), breaking several significant bones, Babette’s equestrian career was over until her mother suggested she continue with the safer art of dressage-riding. For this, she trained in Germany and rode professionally, but after 4 years, she returned to the UK to, as she said, grow up. She took and passed three A levels and then a Humanities degree, and with these survived as a freelance journalist and TV researcher in Bristol until she met her husband, became a hippy and got pregnant. Wanting a better life for their daughter, they decided to live off the land in Portugal, which worked for a few years.

Meanwhile, she wrote anything and everything, fiction, non-fiction, some published, some lucrative, some not, including young adult novels and accounts of her 1000km journeys along St James Way and Via Francigena on horseback. With her third husband, Babette manages their publishing company for the LightFoot guides.

Babette was born in Shropshire but has lived and worked long-term in seven countries, including on a boat and in a jungle. Now living in Johannesburg, in 2022, she received her Masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of Witwatersrand and is currently preparing for an English doctorate at Stellenbosch University, where she will undoubtedly be the oldest but most enthusiastic student.

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