Books By Jules Pretty

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Sea Sagas of the North

Travels & Tales at Warming Waters
Jules Pretty, 2022
There are shadows on this shining sea. Fish cities have shrunk to hamlets, old ports have been levelled and harbours are full of warming water, yet there’s barely a single ship. An Arctic author asks, how do you say goodbye to a glacier? A burnished skipper, four score years of staring at horizons, leans across the table and says, “you know, we were more tolerant in those days, when we sailed and steamed and brought home stories.” They travelled on a sea that once was dry and now was warming once again, washing at the lower lands. It seems more storms are gathering. Now could come a crushing silence, three sheets on every sail, the blue marine quite undone. There was nothing worse than drowning full in sight of the shore. Sea Sagas of the North interweaves prose chapters and alliterative sagas. Each chapter tells of travels across shores, seas and islands. Each saga tells of tales and times from across the ages. This is the territory of sagas, the Norse and Anglo-Saxon gods of old, and the mythic era of Viking expansion by clinkered longship. It was when dragons protected people from themselves by hiding gold and silver hoards. The book comes to a conclusion with the saga of the Drowning of Doggerland, how the once dry steppe was flooded by the warming seas, making the people of the plain refugees. The book ends as Ragnarök appears to loom. What can be done to avoid more fire and flame? These are times when new stories might be needed, as the growing global crises wash at shores.