Jodi Trask didn’t have to look too far beyond the real world for the inspiration behind her debut science fiction novel.
The young woman from Trout River, who now calls Steady Brook home, has been writing short pieces of science fiction fantasy since she was a little kid.
Her first venture into writing a novel has led to “Telluria,” a self-published paperback released this past November.
Inspired by growing signs of climate change she has seen in the world, the dystopian setting of Trask’s book has nature fighting back at the human race. The title refers to a fictional disease called Telluria which dreadfully recycles flesh and bone back into one of the four primordial elements of water, fire, earth or wind.
“I was looking for something to do with the earth being angry and it’s going to get rid of humanity by more or less dissolving them back into the earth,” she said.
Dipping into her studies in environmental biology at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University in Corner Brook, Trask plucked the name of the disease from the name of a soil bacteria.
She thought it would be a good fit for the theme of environmental wrath.
Trask said the major flooding that struck her hometown of Trout River this past January is one example of how the world’s climate seems to be changing.
“No one who has lived in Trout River had seen anything like that in 40 years or more,” she said. “I think the general effects of climate change can be seen all the time.”
“Telluria” has a specific human-interest angle besides the general population being at risk. Its main character, Terra — the Latin word for earth — is a young woman afflicted by the terrible disease but ends up on the run from the global corporation that holds the cure.
Trask loves the creative licence afforded to her when it comes to writing in the science fiction genre.
“I think a big part of it is just being able to create full worlds in your head, put them on paper and suddenly they’re a thing,” she said.
While there is nothing specific to Newfoundland and Labrador in “Telluria,” Trask said she is already working on a sequel that may have references to her home province.
“Telluria” is available online at Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com and Kobo.com.
Hard copies of “Telluria” are available at Coles in Corner Brook. Trask is planning a book signing at the Coles store in Corner Brook, but the date and time for that has not yet been finalized.