It’s the end of the century. Storms are ravaging Earth. Governments are controlled by artificial intelligence. Humans are simply seeking to survive.
Beginning in Coon Rapids, moving through Anoka and traveling north, author James Aura’s climate fiction tale depicting North America in the year 2099 comes to life in his new novel “The Hurricane Code.”
The inspiration for the story’s beginning is not by chance. The Anoka County area blends a setting Aura knows well with a spot that he believes, while not currently impacted by hurricane storms, could be affected in a future landscape.
“I have visited southern Minnesota and the Minneapolis area several times, and decided a wooded area north of Coon Rapids would be a good setting,” Aura said. “The story begins at a walled compound for the super-rich who want to be protected from hordes of climate refugees who have migrated north. They have nearly overrun the Twin Cities.”
The novel is Aura’s third and continues his lifelong pursuit of writing.
Before becoming an author, Aura spent several decades in the news business. When he retired, he left the news behind, but kept writing at the forefront of his life.
“I decided to go the creative route,” Aura said. “Several successful authors whose work I enjoy are former news people, such as John Sandford, Tony Hillerman and of course, my original inspiration, Mark Twain.”
During his career, Aura spent several years managing a meterology department for a television station in Raleigh, North Carolina. The fascination with weather and storms never left and helped spark ideas for his novelist career. Now Aura combines scientific possibilities with compelling storylines.
“We covered some major hurricanes over the years, and I have long been fascinated with the idea that global warming could feed the storms, make them worse,” Aura said. “Many in the Midwest don’t pay much attention to hurricanes, but if the storms become so powerful they drive millions of Americans north, the Upper Midwest would surely be impacted.
“I write about ordinary people caught up in sweeping historical events. My first two novels involve mysteries set in 1975 and 1985 in Appalachia, with people affected by human trafficking and mountain top removal mining. In this case, I decided to depict both the rich and the poor threatened by extreme weather, drought in the Southwest, hurricanes on the coasts, as well as tornadoes. The challenge was to include scientific aspects while keeping the story engaging for the reader.”
Aura has found a new writing home in the mystery genre, with his first two novels steeped in suspense as well.
“My first two books take place in eastern Kentucky in the past,” Aura said. “I served in the Army in Kentucky and got to know the state well; it is similar to my native Missouri. All of my work has an environmental aspect, usually involving a mystery.
“‘When Saigon Surrendered’ involves a farm boy whose family is caught up in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, and ‘The Cumberland Killers’ involves a news photographer who is murdered by a serial killer. His friend, a newspaper reporter, sets out to avenge the death and discovers an elaborate cover-up for a company blowing the tops off mountains to mine the coal.”
“The Hurricane Code” holds onto the mystery aspect, with a far-reaching scope. In the novel:
Refugees flee north to escape Category 7 hurricanes only to discover danger of another kind in North America of 2099 as a young refugee, a Quantum-coding heiress and a sentient A.I. seek safety in a slow-rolling climate apocalypse.
Aura is considering a sequel to “The Hurricane Code” in the future, but for now is currently working on a third Kentucky mystery book set in 1990.
“The Hurricane Code” is available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.