Douglas E. Congdon grew up in New Jersey, went to college in New York, and became a Hemingway wannabe when he read “A Moveable Feast” while serving in the Navy. Fifty years and two novels later, the Nobel is proving elusive. But the grandkids call him Papa, so that’s some solace.
But, seriously, there’s more difference than the quality of the writing. While Hemingway found inspiration in the cafés of Paris and the bull rings of Pamplona, Congdon’s interests are closer to those of H.G. Wells and his classic work, “The Time Machine” – though not 800,000 years in the future. Rather, Congdon’s two novels (“Heat 30:1” and its sequel, “Above Sea Level”) speculate about life on a climate-changed Earth during the next 30 years. He imagines what life would be like if humanity does not change course, and focuses on how our species always finds a way.
Congdon has degrees in environmental engineering (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) and law (George Mason University). He now lives in Upstate South Carolina with his wife, Ann. He plans to start work on the third book in this trilogy in 2020.