Roy Scranton

  • Wonk Quixote

    WHAT HAPPENED? This is the question Nathaniel Rich attempts to answer in Losing Earth: A Recent History, an extended version of his 30,000-word article that took up most of the August 5, 2018, issue of the New York Times Magazine. “Nearly everything we understand about global warming was understood in 1979,” he begins, and goes on to tell us that in the decade that followed, “we had an excellent chance” of solving the problem. “The conditions for success were so favorable,” he writes, “that they have the quality of a fable.” Yet more carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere in the

  • culture August 14, 2013

    Lea Carpenter's "Eleven Days"

    Eleven Days wants to be a fable, or a myth: in her debut novel about a Navy SEAL and his mother, Lea Carpenter presents a handful of stylized, archetypical figures marching toward their fated ends. As with another recent American fable about the Terror Decade, Zero Dark Thirty, the complicated, messy reality of ten years of American military adventurism overseas is eschewed in favor of something more elemental and operatic.

    The novel tells the story of Sara, a middle-class, hard working single mom, and her son Jason, a commando who goes MIA during an important mission in Afghanistan. Jason is