Analysis Review

‘Luz At Midnight’: San Antonio’s First Rare-Earth Cli-Fi Love Story

Love, politics, and rare earth mineral mining converge in this South Texas novel.

Ten years in the making, San Anto’s first rare-earth cli-fi love story (we’d wager) has just been published by the superchingón FlowerSong Press and is ready for heavy reading. Rooted in the landscapes and issues Deceleration aspires to cover and care for, Luz at Midnight by co-editor Marisol Cortez tells the story of an ill-timed love unfolding amid anti-extraction struggles in South Texas, all presided over by a cosmic dog born in a lightning storm in San Antonio’s Brackenridge Park.

Luz at Midnight
By Marisol Cortez
FlowerSong Press (2020)
446 pages, $18.95

Through January 31, enter HERE to win a free, signed copy!

Though relationships—of love, solidarity, and conflict alike—are the center of the story, the novel’s key backdrop is an alternate present in which the rush to ditch fossil fuels through a controversial new form of rare earth mineral mining leads to a critical question. Can we address climate crisis through technological means alone, without transforming the political and economic order that produced it?

Given that these questions are set in San Antonio,  Luz is a love story that grapples with the colonial and racial histories that have shaped the city’s environmental present. Yet Luz also plumbs universal issues of power and desire, asking: “What throws us into the path of those we love, and what pulls us apart? What agency powers the universe—and do we have any agency of our own to create a world different from the one powerful others have planned for us?”

“Along the way of considering these questions, Luz is about the humorous (and not-so-humorous) inner workings of the nonprofit industrial complex; about Newtonian and Quantum theory; about birds and about dogs. It is also about what we call mental illness, and the possibility that love may be pathology, while madness may open some important window into the nature of reality.”

Below is a reading of two chapter excerpts by Marisol, originally performed as part of the Community Forum on Just Climate + COVID Recovery.

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