A report on the rapid buildup of CO2 in our atmosphere over the past 50 years sparked the idea for my new thriller novel Red Hot Sky. After I read the report, I began wondering what would happen if the rapid CO2 increase continues unchecked. In the past, high and low levels of CO2 in our atmosphere have been associated with radical changes in earth’s climate. The CO2 level was very low during the last ice age. And the levels have always risen dramatically during warming periods between ice ages. Could our present CO2 buildup reach another tipping point, and another radical shift in world climate? But instead of an ice age, can it kick earth into a much hotter and more dire kind of climate?
I used that possibility for the setting in Red Hot Sky. But how will people behave when faced with an approaching disaster that could end of human survival? In this scenario, a powerful computer model foretells the looming disaster. The situation brings out the best In some of the characters, the very worst in others.
The characters were developed out of the challenges they faced. Ben Mason and Claudine Manet are co-developers of the secret computer model. They are the ones who are willing to sacrifice everything to save the planet. They are also in love, and sometimes their passions sizzle, and other times their feelings and misunderstandings drive them apart and put their relationship on thin ice.
A disgraced Russian general waits for a chance to regain his power. He learns of the climate threat through a hacker and seizes on this as this opportunity to not only take over Russia, but to ultimately rule the world. Ben Mason, who had started with the CIA in their forensics lab before leaving to take over the development of the national lab computer model, returns to the CIA and is sent on a hazardous mission to block the general’s scheme. His cover is blown and he’s on the run in hostile territory.
Claudine is put in charge of a massive NASA program to hold off the looming disaster. But just when her project is ready to launch, it is stopped dead by bureaucracy. The climate change catastrophe steadily approaches.
I chose a worldwide stage to emphasize the threat to the whole planet, and to speed up the pace of the story. The action moves from Washington to JPL in Pasadena, to Geneva, to Tehran, to Prague, and finally to Moscow. The aim in writing Red Hot Sky was to provide a fast-paced, knuckle biting, and thoroughly enjoyable experience for the reader. I must confess, I also had in mind the hope that in the process, the reader might become more aware of the risks unchecked global warming poses for the future health of our planet.
Gordon Gumpertz brings fiction readers another exciting action/adventure experience in his new novel RED HOT SKY. This is the author’s second book, following his highly acclaimed novel TSUNAMI.
In addition to writing novels, Gordon has won gold and silver awards in national and regional short story competitions. He is a member of the Authors Guild, the Palm Springs Writers Guild, a UCLA graduate, and an instrument-rated private pilot. He keeps his website current by blogging on natural disasters and natural phenomena.
Gordon and his wife Jenny live not far from the San Andreas fault, where the Pacific Plate thrusts into the North American Plate, building increasingly high levels of faultline stress which, the seismologists say, may soon produce the Big One.
Visit his website at www.tsunaminaturaldisaster.com.
CO2 buildup in earth’s atmosphere reaches a tipping point. Global weather destabilizes, turns chaotic. Ice storms, dust storms, floods, blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes pummel the earth nonstop. A secret computer model reveals that the frantic weather will peak out, and transform world climate into an alien environment devastating to human survival.
Scientists Ben Mason, Claudine Manet, and Bertrand Short are developers of the computer model. Ben and Claudine are lovers as well as lab partners. While they work frantically to head off the approaching catastrophe, a disgraced Russian general hacks into their model and sees earth’s bleak future as his opportunity for ultimate world power.
Ben, who had left the CIA to develop the computer model at the national lab, is reactivated by the Agency and sent on a perilous mission to block the rogue general’s plot. Claudine, not realizing that Ben is on a secret mission, misunderstands his absence, putting their relationship on thin ice.
Claudine is placed in charge of a massive NASA project that, if completed on time, could stop the approaching doomsday climate change. But her project is stalled by bureaucracy. Ben is on the run in hostile territory. The climate change calamity steadily approaches.