These three novels tell stories from multiple characters’ viewpoints before, during, and after the “waterless flood” in which bioengineer Glenn causes a mass extinction event for humans through dissemination of a Viagra-like pharmaceutical drug called BlyssPluss. To replace humans, Glenn has bioengineered a new species, referred to as the Crakers, who are human-like but free from hierarchies and violence. The title of the novel, and the name Crakers, derive from the game Extinctathon about animals that have gone extinct, including the oryx (antelope) and crake (bird).
This novel imagines that the Monarch butterflies’ annual spring migration to Mexico is disrupted by climate change in an event that forever changes the life of the main character, Dellarobia Turnbow. Set in Appalachia, the novelist’s current residence, the novel explores tensions between scientists, environmental activists, and poor rural communities over climate change.