In THE ELLA VERSE, a YA science fiction novel, a young queer woman confronts the world about the coming apocalypse through the powers of truth-telling, time travel, and collective action.
Ella Harris, a fifteen-year-old high school student, has sensed for years that the time 11:11 holds some kind of power but not what until 11/11/11 when she catapults hundreds of years into the future. She encounters a Tahman society, a people named after TAH, the unknown author of “The Ella Verse” who directed them to Ella. The “verse” was scrawled, etched, and carved on many surfaces of the planet in many languages, leading this religious society to develop time travel to find Ella in the past so she could save them. The Tahman leader, Andrew, gravely tells Ella she must return to her time period and warn the world of a future apocalypse from climate change and nuclear wars. She records videos of the barren world of the Tahmans as an indication of what awaits the world if a solution isn’t found. Back in her time, Ella enlists the aid of her brother Trevor, her girlfriend, Cane, and a group of teens to launch an #OccupyTheFuture movement to halt global disaster. They post videos of the Tahman world on the internet. At first, Ella is met with alarm and disbelief and her parents put her in a mental hospital. She is released as the sensation grows and people all over the world begin to believe her, sparking the beginning of a social movement that the government finds suspect. She is taken into custody by agents and kept in an isolated location. Her activist friends orchestrate a campaign that works to get her released. She goes to live with the collective instead of her parents.
But then Ella learns that her father is developing a coalition of oil companies which would help the world escape the ravages of climate change—or perhaps just allow the elite to survive the inevitable apocalypse. She also discovers that the Tahmans manipulated her to believe in 11:11 by committing a horrible act in her childhood at 11:11. She had repressed the memory until Andrew takes her back to that moment. Now she wonders if her father and his “green energy” campaign aren’t really on the same side as the Tahmans. Conflicted by these shifting alliances Ella looks to her girlfriend, friends, and fellow activists for guidance while developing a growing confidence in herself and her sexuality. She must decide whether to continue to spread the warning given her by the Tahmans. Will her father’s campaign be enough to stop the impending disaster, or does the collective action of her friends and #OccupyTheFuture represent the better hope for saving the world?