The Man Who Planted Trees, by Jean Giono. Arboriculture as a metaphor for reconstruction.
New England Suffers Maple Woes. An untapped sugar maple is more dangerous than an unmilked cow.
A nice analysis of contemporary American SF by Charlie Stross: to wit, why it’s almost uniformly bleak and dystopian, OR historical/alternative fiction. …the shape of American SF, as with British SF, is determined by the cultural zeitgeist, by the society’s own vision of its future. And I propose that the American future is currently uncertain, unpleasant, polarized, regimented, and pessimistic.