(This post is about the story ‘Greenland’, in the Peacock Cloak collection. It was first published in Interzone.)
Walton St is in North Oxford where I grew up. To the west of it is the Oxford Canal, and a little way beyond that is the great expanse of Port Meadow (above), into which the river Thames overspills every winter. I used to play there as a child, and swim in the river with my friends and sisters.
Oxford is a watery city, and North Oxford’s odd elongated shape, in particular, is determined by the Thames and its flood plain on one side, and on the other side, the river Cherwell, where people go punting and canoeing.
* * *
Both this story and ‘Day 29’ are partly thought experiments about the boundaries of our moral universe. Who do we feel obliged to care about? What is it that allows us not to care?
These are fairly salient questions when it comes to climate change, since collectively we seem to be having difficulty caring very much at all about our own descendants.