Sea Change is speculative fiction in the truest sense. The story seizes upon the ultimate what if, plunging its protagonist into a world whose sensibilities, whose margins, have been erased by natural and man-made catastrophes.
Kip Billiken, the scion of a wealthy technocrat, is sailing solo across the Pacific when two forces of nature – a massive solar flare and a once-in-millennium Pacific hurricane – eliminate all contact with the outside world and nearly sink his custom-built boat. Managing to make necessary repairs he sails to his home, Gruen Island, in the Puget Sound where he finds that little of his former life remains.
Civilization has disappeared and the island community has been left to its own devices. Its citizens, desperate to recover any sense of normality, and like so many populations throughout history, are only too willing to give up personal freedoms in exchange for some level of security. Kip finds his home and material wealth has been taken by Edgar de Fermo, a 21st century version of Machiavelli’s Prince. As the islanders learn of the horrific chain of events that have occurred off-island since The Day, they begin to realize that their greatest threat actually comes from within.
Sea Change presents a reflection of the regional bent on self-reliance during the rebuilding of an often-overlooked corner of the country.