Aric McBay is an organizer, a farmer, and author of seven books. He writes and speaks about effective social movements, and has organized campaigns around climate justice, prisoner justice, Indigenous solidarity, pipelines, unionization, and other causes.
On a mysterious green planet renewed by fire, vibrant collectivist communities have long lived in harmony with both its strange ecosystem and each other—until the day imperialist forces arrive.
Raised in one of the non-hierarchical nomadic societies on the planet of Germinal, young Char and her family tend to this commons, rich in culture and biodiversity, through principles of reciprocity, ritual, and attention to the balance of their ecosystem. But they must forever travel to stay just ahead of the natural phenomenon that marks their world: a wall of fire that approaches like clockwork, bringing both loss and renewal with it. She is the first to spot the arrival of landing vessels, and soon her way of life is upended by militaristic invaders whose intentions are far beyond her worldview.
Graft is a captive “servitor” and personal attendant to the Conquis, the leader of the vanguard forces in the campaign to seize control of the distant planet. As the last survivor of a culture annihilated by conquest, Graft sees how unprepared Char and her people are to deal with the invasion. When one unsettling discovery leads to another, the newcomers find the nature of this new land troubling and its denizens odd—perhaps even nonhuman. The mission soon turns into something more menacing, and the inhabitants of the violated utopia must learn how to defend themselves or lose everything.
Flowering with possible new ways of life, Inversion is a tale of social struggle set in a completely unique universe, whose unexpected nature will surprise and delight. Aric McBay weaves a tale in the visionary spirit of Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed and Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed.
“A masterful worldbuilding feat …. Never heavy-handed or preachy, this thought-provoking work of speculative fiction is sure to linger in readers’ minds.” —Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
“Inversion is such a pleasure to read—it is richly backgrounded and genuinely engrossing. There are full and contradictory lives here, as well as a sense of immediacy, urgency, and awe. I found real and hard-won delight in it.” —Daniel Lavery, New York Times bestselling author of Texts from Jane Eyre
“Aric McBay’s Inversion is a masterpiece of utopian resistance, where comprehension and cooperation are the keys to survival. The interconnected cultures of Germinal, like fire-adapted seeds, have developed into an environmental and social utopia … It’s hope in a pocket universe, where the ability to look forward and back and inward is a deliberate, sustainable choice.” —Octavia Cade, author of The Impossible Resurrections of Grief
In the Octavia Butlerian vein of the Parable of the Sower novels, comes a new work from political activist and author Aric McBay. Kraken Calling toggles between the years 2028 and 2051 to give us the experience, with breathtaking realism, of what might happen in just one generation to a society already on the brink of collapse.
In 2028, activists fight an increasingly desperate battle against the climate emergency and capitalism, but their every victory brings down repression. Meanwhile, discontented by protests and polemics, a radical movement named Kraken grows in the shadows.
Twenty years later, an oppressive regime has taken control after a series of epidemics, economic shortages, and ecological disasters. The population suffers ruthless “triage” at the hands of an Authority that cares only for its own inner circle. Revolutionaries struggle for survival and support. In the city and on a remote farm, regular people try to stay out of the conflict. But no one can avoid the coming storm.
Popular social movements and underground liberation groups clash, and people struggle against the limitations of their time. In 2028, the underground seems premature—but by 2051, they may be too late. A novel, available now from Seven Stories Press. Blurbs and more…
The Light Within
Writer and Narrative Designer of an upcoming game about mental health from indie studio Pomsky Games.
Full Spectrum Resistance
In Full Spectrum Resistance, author and organizer Aric McBay leads us through key lessons of movements through history and around the world. From the Suffragists to the Black Panthers, from Nelson Mandela to Gay Liberation, McBay illuminates the paths and pitfalls that movements must navigate, and the principles that make them succeed.
Direct Action Works
A legal handbook for civil disobedience and non-violent direct action in Canada. This collaboration with feminist lawyer Pamela Cross was first released in February 2020 at the beginning of the massive Wet’suwet’en solidarity actions.
You can download this entire book for free (10mb PDF).
See older books here.
My column Out Standing in Our Field, about food and farming issues as well as social and environmental justice, ran in Ontario newspapers for 5 years.
Sustainable farmer story-telling
I was very glad to interview amazing farmers and write the text for Fields of Hope, a beautiful coffee-table-style photography book by Andrée Anna Thorpe.
I was happy to be one of the movement story-tellers in this incredibly well-researched history of the National Farmers Union in Canada.
As part of a project to raise public understanding of local food, I enjoyed writing this series of success stories about twelve local farms and their farmers.
Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar
For many years I’ve supported this wonderful calendar by editing and copy-editing articles from activists and political prisoners. In 2021, I facilitated a twentieth-anniversary re-design, to freshen the interior aesthetic and make it more legible and accessible, especially as the number of aging political prisoners continues to grow.
Workshops, Talks, and Interviews
Select Recent Talks and Workshops:
- How to talk to the media about climate justice
- Intro to Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA)
- Advanced NVDA strategy
- Climate Action for Farmers
- What COVID-19 has taught us about local food
For workshops and interviews, please email talks at aricmcbay dot org.