by Dan Bloom
In a recent Guardian commentary in late May, British writer Rodge
Glass issued a “global warning” about what he termed “the rise of
‘cli-fi'” — noting that ”unlike most science fiction, novels about
climate change focus on an immediate and intense threat rather than
Glass’ piece about the rise of cli-fi as a literary term in English — in
both the U.S. and in the UK — was well-received among his newspaper’s
readership with over 100 comments joining the post-publication online
discussion. NPR, formerly known as National Public Radio in the U.S.,
did a story about cli-fi in April, which was followed by a second
story by the Christian Science Monitor. And following the Guardian
piece in late May, the Financial Times in London ran its own story
Glass, himself a novelist, said that in recent months the cli-fi term
has been used increasingly in literary and environmental circles —
but there’s no doubt it has broken out more widely. The Twitterverse
also took note, he said.
I know a little about the growing popularity of the cli-fi term
because I coined it here in Taiwan in 2007, while working on a
series of blog posts about climate change and global warming. But it
wasn’t until NPR and the Guardian ran stories about cli-fi that the
word got out far and wide. I also want to credit an artist in Taiwan,
Deng Cheng-hong, who inspired me in my PR work with his illustrations
of what future survival cities for climate refugees might look like.
Glass said that ”engaging with this subject in fiction increases
debate about the issue; finely constructed, intricate narratives help
us broaden our understanding and explore imagined futures, encouraging
us to think about the kind of world we want to live in. This can often
seem difficult in our 24-hour news-on-loop society where the
consequences of climate change may appear to be everywhere, but
intelligent discussion of it often seems to be nowhere.”
As Gregory Norminton put it in his introduction to a recent UK
anthology on the subject of climate fiction: “Global warming is a
predicament, not a story. Narrative only comes in our response to that
Unlike sci-fi, cli-fi writing comes primarily from a place of warning
rather than discovery, according to Glass.
”There are no spaceships hovering in the sky; no clocks striking 13,”
he wrote. “On the contrary, many of the horrors described seem oddly
Glass ended his piece by saying that with cli-fi as a new literary
term “there is an opportunity …”Whenever a literary term gains
traction it is a chance to examine not only what it says about the
writers who explore the new ground but also the readers who buy it,
read it, discuss it. And that discussion is only going to get louder.
It is already difficult for any serious writer to imagine convincing
worlds on the page without admitting that these worlds, if they
resemble our own, are under threat. As that threat grows, so will the
vocabulary designed to make sense of it.”
After reading the Glass piece, I emailed Adeline Johns-Putra,
Reader in English Literature at the University of Surrey in the UK,
what she though of the new term, and she replied: ”I think climate
change fiction (or ‘cli-fi’) has, in just a few years, moved beyond simplistic apocalypse scenarios to engage intelligently with questions of science and policy (Kim Stanley Robinson’s Science in the Capital trilogy) and environmental
justice (for example, Barbara Kingsolver and Paolo Bacigalupi, in very
different ways). By making us ‘live’ both the devastating impacts of
climate change and ways of dealing with these, these novels can’t help
but intervene in the ongoing debate on climate change policies.”
So is ”cli-fi” as a subgenre of sci fi here to stay? It’s up to
writers around the\world, and their readers, to decide. Time will
tell. But it looks like it’s off to a good start.
Dan Bloom is a freelance writer in Taiwan.
JC comments: This is a guest post by Dan Bloom. Dan and I have been corresponding about Cli-Fi since my previous blog post on Cli-Fi that I published last December (take a look if you missed this the first time around, it was a fun thread). I was interviewed in the NPR article on Cli-Fi (seems that my blog piece helped popularize this term), their article was motivated by a new book Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich. I just received a new book Blackmail Earth by Bill Evans, from the blurb: “a scary gripping blend of extreme weather, terrorism, murder, and yes, even love. The forecast calls for late-night chills.” Have you come across any additional titles in this genre?
Unlike cli-fi, sci-fi is about science. Cli-fi belongs in the horror section of the bookstore. It’s just to scare people and has no other redeeming qualities.
For Cli-fi, it is really going to be hard to beat Gore, Hansen and Mann.
… or, Reefer Madness.
Cli-fi began in 1946 with the Fred Hoyle’s Sci-fi:
It has succeeded. Society is extremely stressed now, and I doubt if our leaders know how to prevent impending social disorder.
Oliver K. Manuel
David Springer | June 9, 2013 at 5:43 am |
I’ve read sci-fi. I’ve read sf. I’ve read science fiction, genre and sub genre.
And I’ve never found it to be about science.
Perhaps you’re thinking about ‘speculation’?
It’s called hard sci-fi. Try it sometime. I recommend beginning with “The three B’s” of hard science fiction – Benford, Bear, and Brin. They have dozens of novels between them. Bear’s more recent work goes deeply into genetics and received a great review in Nature magazine for the depth and accuracy of the science. Bear spent years researching it. Benford is an astrophysicist at UC Irvine. Brin has masters in applied physics from CalTech and a PhD in Space Science from UC San Diego.
For hard sci-fi short stories and, novellettes, and some factual but more speculative science articles where the nature of it lends itself to hard sci-fi plots I recommend Analogy Science Fiction and Science Fact magazine. ASF was formerly Amazing Stories in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Almost every hard sci-fi author in the known universe has published in it. I’ve
been a faithful reader of it since I guess the 1960’s or so.
Analog’s sister magazine is Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine which has little hard sci-fi in it so I don’t usually recommend it but it has decent authors and editors.
David Springer | June 9, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
Perhaps you’re thinking about ‘hard speculation’?
Perhaps you’re a lot less than you think you are.
The IPCC has been doing impressive cli-fi for years!
Do the pronouncements of the learned scientific societies on CAGW qualify as cli-fi, along with the IPCC reports? I suggest that the Royal Society’s statement is surely in this classification.
The IPCC is in fourth place.
“Have you come across any additional titles in this genre?” The IPCC reports?
Damn! Beaten to the joke by less than a second. Annoying.
Herman Pope got in first.
Too easy, too obvious. And irresistible.
How about Michael Crichton’s ‘State of Fear’?
Michael Crichton’s ‘State of Fear’ is a great truth and morality cli-fi drama. It also is a criticism of Western academia–e.g., only a child refuses to admit when they’ve been caught lying. Mann’s hockey stick was a lie and his fabrications were proven. Where’s the admission from the global warming alarmism herd?
I have enjoyed several of Crichton’s books, especially SOF. I was saddened by his passing. A man with great convictions and good judgement. He was scientifically sound and understood people, and definitely knew how to tell a story.
On Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 4:42 PM, Climate Etc.
“The Heretic” by Richard Bean is excellent.
The NIPCC report is largely fictitious, although it probably better fits into the genre of Lie-fi
I have not read the NIPCC report recently, but from what I remember it relied a great deal on empirical data. I would suggest that empirical data, res ipsa loquiter, can NEVER be classified as fiction. Hypothetical estimations and the output of non-validated models can certainly be thought of as fiction. But it is NEVER possible to classify empirical data as fiction. That is why I ONLY rely on empirical data. Empirical data is what real physics is all about.
“Balmaseda et al (2013) is a newer paper. It was published in May 2013. Kevin Trenberth is a coauthor, yet Oppenheimer and Trenberth chose not to include it as a reference in their op-ed. Curious.”
Sounds like a load of WUWT conspiracy whoring to me.
“I have not read the NIPCC report recently, but from what I remember it relied a great deal on empirical data. ”
“That is why I ONLY rely on empirical data. ”
your memory is not empirical data. write that down.
Here’s another candidate for your newest category: Climate science tells us the alarm bells are ringing, as discussed here
WUWT, the blog that last week claimed the Greenland ice sheet is only 650 years old. No thanks.
You mean this? It’s a guest post, subsequently removed. Anybody with any sense would think about such claims, then (probably) reject them.
So what do you think about this?
Yea, I guess I would describe my science entertainment as a combination of puzzle-piecing together interesting theory, and then as comic relief, reading the skeptical climate blogs for absurd theorizing. The latter falls into the category of what the true skeptic Michael Shermer calls “Why People Believe Weird Things”.
Michael Shermer believes in Michael Shermer and that should be a weird enough belief for any 10 skeptics.
Oh yeah AK. That was by William Hunt. He co-authors with his wife Helen sometimes. I called him up one time asking for some data to replicate his results and he told me “Go to Helen Hunt for it.” Then the fight started.
lolwot | June 9, 2013 at 7:40 am said: ” although it probably better fits into the genre of Lie-fi”
lolwot, you are running out of lies; when are you going to tell your last lie and then face the reality? when?!
Most climate science is CLI FI LOL
If I were writing a steamy novel about global warming in the distant future, important characters might be two climate bloggers: DIm Wit Wot, a Cantonese meteorologist and noodle maker, and his on-again-off-again girlfriend Hottie Curry, a curvaceous Indian climatologist and Pai Gow addict, who both live in Singapore, an urban heat island threatened by rising sea levels.
Dim and Hottie have a common bond in their climate blogging, recognize each other as experts on climate change, and agree no one knows much about the subject. However, while Dim is madly in love with Hottie, she is uncertain about her feelings toward him, and doubts his sincerity. Not one to put all her eggs in one basket, Hottie has a clandestine internet relationship with American climate scientist and rabid hockey fan, Manny Mikey, who is trying to turn her against Dim, but she is suspicious of his motives.
Dim Wit Wot believes the devastating global warming is mostly a result of urban heat islands rather than rising atmospheric CO2, and argues the warming has been exaggerated by improperly located thermometers. Although relocating thermometers hasn’t slowed the warming so far, he believes further relocations will vindicate his theory. While formerly advocating more atmospheric CO2 because it’s plant food, and favoring rising global temperatures, because warm is more comfortable than cold, Wot has come to realize that too much of a good thing is not a good thing.
This is fun.
Manny is plotting the demise of Dim but having no experience in such things hires Deadeye Dave, a former Marine marksman turned professional assassin. Deadeye has former comrades in arms living in Singapore and arranges for a safe house there as a base of operations. But on the way from Texas to Singapore by way of Canadian tanker ship “The Oil Sand” a freak out of season typhoon caused by global warming hits the ship and it goes aground on the Great Barrier Reef off Australia which has been dead for years from ocean acidification. Luckily a reef diver and amateur hydrologist Marsupial “Soupy” Ellispun espys the ship and rescues the few crew members still alive. Soupy and Deadeye don’t hit it off and Deadeye dispatches Soupy without a second thought then commandeers the rescue vessel “Second Thoughts”.
-to be continued
I thought you were going to tell us that Dim Wit is lol’s brother.
Or maybe lol is his nickname?
I don’t know how to work lol into the story, but I’ll think about it.
After years of studying the writings of hundreds of Buddhist philosophers, Lol Wot, a Cambodian monk, has concluded that the unusual cooling that has gripped the planet for decades since back in the early 21st C, can be reversed by holistic mass meditation.
Lol Wot convinces the governments of several northern European nations, which are suffering most from the harsh global cooling, that they can return to the balmy climate of the late 20thC if they follow his advice; EU bureaucrats in Brussels are also convinced.
He tells them they can do this by forcing their populations to spend six hours per day following a prescribed holistic meditation plan in sessions organized by Lol Wot, who would earn a daily per capita consulting fee of $10 per meditation.
Those who fail to show up for the sessions are forced to pay a “revenue neutral” non-meditation tax, the proceeds from which are used to finance the consulting fees.
But after a few years it becomes clear. The meditation scheme is not working. Winters become even harsher than before and the freezing population of northern Europe rises up in rebellion.
Lol Wot is quickly tossed under the bus by the politicians. He is captured, tried for mass swindling and bamboozlement, convicted and sentenced to death by freezing in a deep freezer.
But, soon after Lol Wot’s deep frozen body is tossed into the ice-clogged North Sea, a miraculous thing happens.
It begins to warm (as it did in the late 20th C). Ice floes melt as do the glaciers that had swallowed Oslo, Helsinki and Aberdeen. Life thrives again as the world warms.
And the grateful world begins to wonder: has this recovery been the result of Lol Wot’s teachings and meditations? After a heated debate at the EU HQ in Brussels (with Greece, Cyprus and Italy taking the opposing stand), it is decided to rehabilitate the memory of Lol Wot – as the savior of the planet.
He is posthumously awarded a Nobel Peace Prize and monuments of the Cambodian monk spring up all across the northern Hemisphere like mushrooms after a spring rain.
Life is good. And everyone lives happily ever after.
Award-winning American climate scientist Manny Mikey believes the global warming was caused by CO2, and predicted it by reading tree rings. Mikey is convinced Wot’s thermometer location theory is nonsense, and Wot is equally convinced Mikey just got lucky reading tree rings. Nevertheless, both agree something needs to be done. They just disagree on the solution. Wot favors development of a super herbicide as a solution to the growing tree menace. Mikey, a tree-hugger, opposes any plan that would rid the world of trees.
Hottie Curry operating a brothel catering to a shrinking population of global warming skeptics, libertarians, and fugitive eco-criminals. Despite her name and occupation, Hottie has never been a prostitute and doesn’t like Indian food. She is not certain either of her paramours, Dim Wit Wot or Manny Mikey, is right about anything, or that there even is a problem with the climate, and can’t understand their obsession with something they aren’t sure can be fixed. Hottie’s obsession is her 500 pairs of shoes, 450 of which she has never worn, because that’s a bewildering number to choose from. Hottie has the annoying habit of answering almost any question with one of the following three statements: (1) it all depends, (2)who knows for sure, or (3) your guess is a good as mine.
I was thinking about crashing the Canadian tanker ship “Oil Sand” into the Phillipines instead of the Great Barrier Reef. We could work Hottie’s 500 pairs of shoes into that. She could be like Imelda Marcos’ long lost cousin with same genetic defect that compels hoarding footwear.
Cli-fi novels and movies will flourish as long as the news is full of scares, as it presently is. Scroll the following and count the scares.
Apocalypse can be fun. But making it fashionable tends to wear it out.
BTW, when Dr Curry did her Dec. 23, 2012 blog on CLI FI, one of the people she quoted was Dr Adam Trexler. Since the news started going viral re CLI FI as a new term for climate fiction, I asked Dr Trexler for a followup quote and he told me: re what the functions and uses
of cli fi novels might be, he replied from his office in Oregon: And he has just finished writing an academic book based on the essay that Dr Curry linked to in December here, and it will be pubbed in Fal of 2014 and titled “Anthropocene Fictions.” SHould be interesting.
As for my picks for good CLI FI novels that most people never heard of, one of Hamish MacDonald’s FINITUDE (2010) and Jim Laughter’s POLAR CITY RED (2012). Interesting that when Nathaniel Rich wote and released his cli fi novel ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW, he had never heard the term CLI FI before. Now he has, of course, when doing interviews for his book tour.
DR TREXLER TOLD ME:
“Climate change literature may warn about the dangers of disastrous
global warming — e.g. “adding to the climate debate”. Its more
important function is to help us understand what it means to live in
an era when climate change is already upon us, when its disastrous
effects are accumulating, and when we seem unable to address it in any
“Climate fiction has been written by authors who have won every major
literary prize,” he said, adding: “Many novelists who have written
about climate are the most highly, critically regarded of our era:
Doris Lessing, JG Ballard, Will Self, TC Boyle, Jonathan Franzen,
Maggie Gee, Barbara Kingsolver, and Jeanette Winterson, to name but a
few. [I’ve compiled] a bibliography of over 300 climate change novels.
Of course there are science fiction novels, too, both simplistic and
highly sophisticated (see the novels by Kim Stanley Robinson and Paolo
Trexler is currently putting the finishing touches to an academic book
he has written for UVA Press, titled ”Anthropocene Fictions.” The
book will be the first comprehensive study of climate change novels,
and will be sure to finds readers around the world. Pub date is Fall 2014 and publisher is University of Virginia Press.
Confirming that there is money to be made from cli-fi, and it looks like Trexler is making sure he gets his share.
More power to him.
A friend of mine in the USA who likes the term CLI FI as a subgenre label for sci fi works about climate, from STATE OF FEAR to ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW just wrote to me aghast at all the negative comments above, noting: “Danny, why is it these kinds of positive articles always attract climate denialists in the comments?
Its like they seek out these things on purpose just to put them down.”
I told him to calm down, don’t worry, these comments are not from climate denialsts. Just people like me and you, and everyone is entitled to their POV and opinion, and besides HUMOR helps.
When SCI FI was first promoted as a literary term it was meant with the same kind of hostility at first and it took about 50 years for it to gain acceptance. CLI FI will likely also take 50 years to be accepted by the literati and gatekeepers at the New York Times and other places. New terms travel slowly.
But I sure that Isaac Asimov would very much approve of the CLI FI term, he was speaking out about climate change and global warming in the 1980s. See his speech on this at Youtube.
A couple years ago I picked up about 50 assorted “Issac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazines” for $0.50 each at Half Price Books. Dates begin in the late 1970’s when the magazine was fairly new and end in 2007 long after he died. I’m about halfway through the stack.
Asimov’s an ass and his claim to fame as a writer is the sheer volume of mediocre books he wrote making up with quantity what they lacked in quality. The monthly editorials he wrote in the magazines I’m reading blow chunks. Big chunks. Even the robot series, one of which I read but found to be such derivitave drivel I couldn’t stand to look at another one, were sub-par.
Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlen make Asimov look sick. I don’t think I’ve missed reading a single novel or short story by either of the former.
Fortunately for IASFM Asimov’s sole duty for it was a short editorial in each issue. Someone else actually did all the other work associated with its production.
dannybloom | June 9, 2013 at 8:48 am | Reply
“CLI FI will likely also take 50 years to be accepted by the literati and gatekeepers at the New York Times and other places. New terms travel slowly.”
Fifty years is a long time but on the bright side it’s slower than actual global warming. Sort of like Asimov’s fictional world of robots has yet to become reality after 50 years so too will the fictional world of global warming not be a reality by then either. Science fiction usually works that way. Nobody ever gets anything right 50 years in advance.
Nobody ever gets anything right 50 years in advance.
How ’bout Orwell’s (1949) novel 1984 ?
Big bro’s out there.
It’s a pretty long ways away from the fictional world described in 1984. It begins in the aftermath of a global nuclear war which of course is the first thing it got wrong. The things it got wrong are pretty much everything that follows.
you could perhaps point your friend at my Cli-Fi story:
which hopefully may help him to understand the base origin and abrasiveness of the terms ‘denier’ and ‘denialist’, and so why those shouldn’t be used.
Outsiders can have interesting ideas about what a culture is and how it works. I remember a Jackie Chan movie showing the monks in the monastery as simply another Hong Kong street gang, just with colorful costumes and customs. Hey, what else would they be? What else would the movie’s audience have presumed? It’s a drama thing any author would recognize.
To apply this, I would suggest you spend a little time understanding the typical culture of these skeptics. In their world, you DO have to explain yourself and show clear evidence when you say it is all getting worse. Models are not evidence, only high-tech diagrams on the board, showing what their author told them to say. At least, until they prove themselves by demonstrating their accuracy.
Unless you are paying all your research costs yourself, somebody else’s money is being spent, and when that happens, you can’t stiff their scientific questions, whether you like it or not.
@david springer re isaac asimov — his nephew is the wine reporter at the new york times eric asimov and his niece is an education reporter at the sf chroncle as in san francisco not sci fi
How interesting. Not.
…….. and it was at this point in our story that the levels of bile and venom built up too dangerous levels in the body of David and he collapsed, slummed over his keyboard.
Marines eat bile and piss battery acid.
Write that down.
Truth is stranger than fiction. Your choice to live in a fantasy world, thanks but I will pass.
Too late. You’re already there.
You are probably right. Why I frequent nonsense climate skeptic blogs is a good question. They are loaded with pure fantasy by people with sparse analytical skills.
My curiosity probably stems from when I was a kid and we would turn over rocks to see what kinds of critters would skitter away.
Then there are the cases of skeptics that “doth protest too much”. These are the types who try to obscure certain interesting angles, but the more that they misdirect, the more clues that it gives us to the true path.
Motivation to pursue a challenge comes in many strange forms and I would like to thank the skeptics for leading the way. Thank you SpringyBoy, seriously!
WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | June 9, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
“You are probably right. Why I frequent nonsense climate skeptic blogs is a good question.”
No, it’s a question with an obvious answer. It’s not your field of expertise so this is the best that no-names can do to make themselves heard. Same goes for me. The difference between us, aside from me being a lot frickin’ smarter than you are of course, is that I know why I’m relegated to climate blogs instead of Nature Climate. It’s probably because I’m so much smarter that I know why I’m here and you don’t understand why you are. :-)
SpringyBoy, No doubt you are a lot smarter than me.
Is your “talent on loan from God”, as well?
Don’t worry, I’m in no Rush to see a response.
In fact my talent is on loan from God and I’m right 98.7% of the time on my bad days.
WebTheCrackpot (@WHUT) | June 10, 2013 at 12:50 am said: ”SpringyBoy, No doubt you are a lot smarter than me.
Is your “talent on loan from God”, as well?”
Springer is a good and clever boy; ask him, if you don’t believe me!
Don’t forget “Fallen Angels”
Used to be available free online.
My suggestions for cli-fi,
The Warming. A climate scientist takes his family to a remote UN conclave where they are all terrorized by the ghost of Rachel Carson.
(Jack Nicholson stars as James Hansen in the movie. – “Here’s Jimmy!”)
The Climatist. IPCC priest Michael Mann tries to save the soul of the United States by exorcising the spirits of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
Night of the Living Dead. Arguments of CAGW fanatics refuse to die. The hockey stick, James Hansen’s 1988 “predictions” and “there is no C in CAGW” stalk skeptics where ever they go.
Return to Gomorrah. Rajendra Pachauri’s latest, having nothing whatsoever to do with climate.
I think Mann and his ilk spew forth “cli-lie”, rather than “cli-fi”
And in other real world news, the Starks of Winterfell have suffered a stunning political reversal when the Tully faction crossed the floor to vote with the Lannisters.
Meanwhile, the world price of unicorn hair has plummetted with advances in unearthing deep dragons for heartstring, and new technologies allowing more efficient recovery.
Charges are expected to be laid in the case of murder on the Orient Express, due new DNA techniques revealing what had been a massive coverup by now disgraced Belgian investigator Hercule Poirot. Inside sources report the scandal caused Poirot to attempt to flee the country disguised as a Phillipino nanny, given away at the airport by his trademark moustache.
Cli-fi is made of fiction. It’s fiction.
No one who reads fiction for their understanding of climate — be it WUWT or Istvan or Steven King or the Idsos or the Skydragon Slayers — ought be encouraged to confuse it for the real world. Except for the amusement value it brings the rest of us.
The texts were flying last Sunday. In the Thrones book series it’s called The Red Wedding and Robb Stark’s pregnant wife lives through it.
They just keep getting better and better. When Khalisi revealed to the slave army owner (whatever his name was) that she spoke his language perfectly and ordered the unsullied to kill them all after one of her dragons roasted him like a pig on spit I was all like “whoa” that was frickin’ good. Then Red Wedding comes along. I wonder what the writers are going to do for an encore to that.
David Springer | June 9, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
It won’t involve Westeros getting warmer.
I’ve never watched a movie or a series with a dwarf in it that I didn’t like. How about Carnivale? Ended too early. Most awesome plot. Should sort out as cli-fi maybe being set in the dust bowl. I have the whole thing on DVD.
Oh yeah Stephen King. I’d pay good money to see Kathy Bates and Mike Mann star in a remake of Misery.
The Day After Tomorrow (2004) is a good example of cli-fi. So to are the wildly apocryphal images (debunked) of polar bear huddled on tiny icebergs. The effectively of a cli-fi McGuffin is that it plays to the superstitions, ignorance and fears of the audience.
I have been writing short stories for years and dug out two examples of mine from the early 1980’s. One was a humorous tale about global warming being caused by cfc’s. There was a thread on the recent paper of Dr Lu ;
This new study revives the idea that warming is caused (partially) by Cfc’s and curiously merely echoes the prevalent theory of the time I wrote my story
A lot of people made a lot of money out of the 200,000 year loop of the Earth’s climate cycle and I guess it is all a part of ‘enjoying’ the global warming while it lasts.
Goldarnit Tony. I was so sure nobody would use CFC control knob as a plot. You’re a lot smarter than you look.
Just to point out regarding some of the comments above, Cli-Fi isn’t all alarmist!
My own Sci-Fi / Cli-Fi novelette, which featured in Judith’s original post linked above, is most definately sceptical. It is free-to-read in various formats here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/273983
I’m hoping to follow up in a few weeks with a non-fiction extended essay describing the social phenomena of CAGW through the lens of memetics.
Interesting. So like a novel where it turns out CFCs are the “control knob” and we can control the earth’s temperature with them no problem. The plot can be about nobody can agree on an optimal global average temperature and WWIII almost destroys the planet fighting over the control knob.
I like it.
Jolly imaginative :)
However, my plot has no climate control knobs and being set in our own time, indeed no out-of-control climate in need of such a knob. The work uses the medium of Science Fiction to provide a (lurid) view of the social phenomena of CAGW (essentially a memeplex).
Lurid is trite now. Some libtard married Gaia and did all manner of unspeakable things to her. True story. Nobody would believe anything sexual was fiction now. They honeymooned in Alaska and Gaia gave him crabs. They looked like Opelios in the snapshots but it’s hard to tell.
CFCs are the “control knob” and we can control the earth’s temperature with them no problem
The US/sino agreement on HFC was implemented over the last few days,not exactly front page news on dot earth et al.
Much of today’s peer-reviewed literature on climate change and its effects is the cli-fi of tomorrow. It will be so much fun to read it again 50 years from now.
Cees de Valk | June 9, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
Just read the peer-reviewed literature of 50 or 100 years ago, and there you are!
Of course, as with all scientific literature, some stands the test of time, while some falls by the wayside.
Fourier almost 200 years ago laid the foundation, and Fourier’s pretty solid still to this day.
Pouillet, Tyndall, Arrhenius, Ekholm, up to Alexander Graham Bell almost a century ago, and Callendar and Plass later. They’re pretty good reads, and still upheld by all challenges to date for parsimony, simplicity and universality in providing the most accurate or very nearly true explanation for all observations.
Still, you can find such fiction writers as Singer, Spencer, Christie and others who’ll take a shot of religion with their novelizations of science, or some even older fakes as well as many new ones, if you look.
But then, their overall peer-reviewed influence counts tend to be low. It’s one of the ways you can predict whether time will reveal a paper to be fictitious.
Would it surprise you to know that Pouillet, Tyndall, Arrhenius, Ekholm, and Alexander Graham Bell were all religious men?
Its legitimate to invoke the almighty as it is a limiting constraint.
a good example is the role of the said deity in economic series eg Slutsky,.
I find the simple Catholic philosophy that science is the study of God’s creation to be satisfying. God created a rational universe and He created rational man who could study and understand it. He also gave us the ability to restore the world to the paradise it was in the beginning when there was no death and destruction. It would appear we have a ways to go yet in that restoration, to say the least. But we know what to aim for.
In this field (as in many others concerned with “difficult” or even “messy” problems), there is no substitute for waiting a few more decades to find out, I think.
Meanwhile, I hope more effort will be spent again on fundamental issues and less on support of policy, most of which is rather speculative and has ended up in an unstable science-policy-funding feedback loop.
Cees de Valk | June 9, 2013 at 2:01 pm said: ” It will be so much fun to read it again 50 years from now.”
I would give them another 3-4 years. people on the street are not brainwashed zombies as the permanent commentators here. People on the street are opening already their eyes and are realizing that was ALL a mountain of crap.
in 5 years, all the phony GLOBAL warming doo-doo will be a Disney lough
I agree, 5 years at the maximum.
David Springer | June 9, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
They’re also all male. Doesn’t follow then that the list was intended to insinuate one needs be male to be a scientist, or that being male in any way better qualifies one for science.
The list, likewise, was a bit Eurocentric, though it showed a definite shift from Old to New World over time. Doesn’t mean plotting the trajectory predicts a focus on Asia for study of climate kinetics.
However, religious fiction is a subgenre, and while mixed subgenres appeal differently to different tastes, the point of religious fiction is that it’s always fiction. So while you can study science to rationally and factually understand a ‘Revealed’ truth, you can’t do the opposite and inflict ‘religious truth’ on facts and come up with anything but fiction.
Or politics of the type that does not separate church and state. You know, Unamerican politics.
On Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 8:35 PM, Climate Etc. wrote:
> ** > Bart R commented: “David Springer | June 9, 2013 at 4:50 pm | They’re > also all male. Doesn’t follow then that the list was intended to insinuate > one needs be male to be a scientist, or that being male in any way better > qualifies one for science. The list, likewise, w” >
Don’t try to decipher it. It’s not the product of a sane mind.
Cli-fi film adaptation:
Oh here’s a great happy ending that can be used with many different plots.
The Day After Tomorrow made me think of it.
All the libtards flee (north or south doesn’t matter) because the consensus is that some anthropogenic climate catastrophe is going to strike (north or south doesn’t matter). Climate deniers are Left Behind (good leverage there, eh? might not be able to capitalize without copyright issues though). The disaster strikes. About half the human population survives. But it’s the good half. The libtards. The earth can sustain 3.5 billion libtards who are so ugly they can’t reproduce beyond replacement level and everyone lives happily ever after.
Like your plot.
But we could expand it.
The fleeing libtards run into massive resistance to their panicked Völkerwanderung from the indigenous polar bears, who end up gobbling them all up before they can even set up new vegan restaurants, café latte shops and other libtard meeting spots in their new habitat.
The seals, who are more difficult for polar bears to catch than a fleeing libtard, multiply and flourish, at the expense of cod, salmon, etc. which begin to decline rapidly, much to the dismay of the deniers, who love to eat seafood.
An enterprising young denier, who is a gourmet chef, creates new recipes for preparing seal meat to make it not only edible, but also delicious, while McDonalds launches the hugely successful “MacSeal Meal” and ecological balance is again restored.
Everyone (except the hapless libtards who fled into extinction) lives happily ever after.
Cli-fi & more. Just 4 u
These kinds of discussions of literary genres usually seem unsatisfying because the typology is shaky and people forget about all the older stuff that was written in the same vein. Climate change is a topic that has been used in a variety of genres, including science fiction, thriller, horror, fantasy, and literary fiction.
The idiotic comment in the post that ”unlike most science fiction, novels about climate change focus on an immediate and intense threat rather than discovery” or that sf is all about alien spaceships just show the usual ignorance about the genre typical of “mainstream” writers and critics. As Norman Spinrad pointed out in one of his critical essays, this ignorance really comes to the fore when “literary” types review attempts by “literary” writers to produce sf–the results are often comical.
That jumped out at me as well. It seems the writer’s domain knowledge of SciFi is nonexistent.
“Unlike sci-fi, cli-fi writing comes primarily from a place of warning
rather than discovery, according to Glass.”
Alarmist SciFi is nothing new. Just pick an issue, then find the book. Orwell’s 1984 was/is SciFi although I doubt the person who wrote the above passage about spaceships even realizes that (or has the capacity?).
Here’s one of the Grandaddies of the (alarmist) SciFi sub-genre about coming environmental collapse per 1972.
A better name for this genre these myopic and domain ignorant writers may choose is DiFi
Paul Ehrlich is also a master of this genre.
Let’s not forget Rachel Carson as well.
Ehrlich and Carson’s genre was more “lie-fi”
Harry Harrison’s Make Room! Make Room! which was loosely adapted to make the movie Soylent Green is an overpopulation disaster sf novel with climate change themes. Bruce Sterling’s Heavy Weather is set in a world where climate change leads to massive tornados. Someone above mentioned Fallen Angels. I’m sure others can think of other sf climate change stories. (There is also a sub-type of post-apocalyptic climate-change sf, such as Damnation Alley or even The Road.)
I remember the 1970s eco-thriller craze. Arthur Herzog’s The Swarm (killer bees), Thomas Paige’s The Hephaestus Plague (killer subterranean beetles) and Sigmet Active (killer atmospheric bacteria creating lethal lightning storms), Pedler and Davis’s Mutant 59 The Plastic Eaters (plastic-eating microbes); and many others. Of course, a lot of eco-thrillers were written in the guise of non-fiction books predicting our imminent doom, but I’m not counting the “ecology” sections of the bookstore.
Messa with my climate I breaka you legs.
Nice planet ya got here. Be a shame anything happened to it.
David Springer | June 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm said: ”Oh oh!!! The Cloudfather”
Springer, why are you wasting your life here?! Hollywood is screaming for scriptwriters like you. You should move to California, immediately!
Been there. Done that.
I asked a well-known sci fi novelist how the term sci fi was initially and even later criticized by some in the media and in the fan world, and he told me today: ”Dan, I can answer the first part with this link:
Opposition arose because some authors and fans claimed that sci fi was used derisively by media critics and academics to demean the field. I agree that it can have that effect, but waging a crusade against “sci-fi” has been counter-productive and I use it now and then.
What did you do during the great war on global warming? “Well, I made this graph that showed Americans were responsible for destroying the Earth and burned a bible. Oh, and I helped elect a ham sandwich to high political office.”
Maybe a novel where the Great Lakes go through a summer that’s extremely – no, wait, unnaturally dry. It’s so extremely unnatural (there, that’s better) that well into autumn a parching blast descends and superheats huge, independent infernos across the region…It’s so unnatural people blame it on meteorites…Catholics…
You could give it one of those ponderous Ludlummy names like The Inferno Ideation or The New Normative…or maybe something urgent and catchy like It’s Worse Than We Thought…or…
Or just call it 1871.
How about, a barefoot, robed Bosephus rises up from the people, in a NY borough demanding, “Let my people go. or else… at this time tomorrow I will send the worst hailstorm that has ever fallen on… [NYC], your… [pretzel carts] and everything you have in the… [streets] to a place of shelter, because the hail will fall on every man and animal that has not been brought in and is still out in the… [streets] will die… hail fell and lightning flashed back and forth. It was the worst storm in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation.”
Sssh, Waggy. References to the MWP make ’em cranky enough. Reminders of climate change in Egypt and the catastrophic or beneficial effects on the various kingdoms…that really sets ’em off.
The past may be used as a vague reference point for when they use words like “ever” and “record”, but the past is not to be examined. The present…well, as a general rule, it’s climate when it’s bad, weather when it’s not. But they never get the weather right, even with all those satellites and radar thingies.
But the future! Ah, they can give you that with all the certainty, clarity and detail you could want. Only prob is: it’s going to be worse than you think. Or worse than you will think. Or worse than…Look! It’s going to be bad, okay?
A writer asks on an online forum: “The novel I’m writing is set in the near future – maybe about a hundred years away – I’m being deliberately vague about it in order to try and make the readers think how likely is it to happen – how soon could it happen.
Anyway it’s set after a mass extinction event and environmental catastrophe brought about by depletion of the world’s resources – it’s not specifically a climate change thing, but I guess it’s pretty similar – I’ve only recently become aware of the term cli-fi but I was wondering is anyone else here writing anything that would be termed cli-fi?”
THIS INITIAL POST WAS MET WITH THIS COMMENT:
Climate Fiction… Sounds more post apocalyptic.
Anyway, not wanting to sound a grumpy git. I love sci-fi. Love it!
Here’s a link to a definition and sub defs for cli-fi: http://pcillu101.blogspot.co.uk/2013…-literary.html
I had to google it myself, you see. *grins*
THIRD COMMENT: “I’m writing a short story right now, which could be described as ‘cli-fi’ I suppose. ‘Cli Fi Dark’ according to the definition found by doghouse. But mine is actually pre-apocalyptic, rather than ‘post’. Disclaimer: I am not a published fiction author, nor particularly experienced in writing fiction. Any forum posts, critiques, etc. I make should be taken with a large pinch of salt. If not a whole spoonful.
FOURTH COMMENT: “As a sci-fi and post-apocalyptic lover, when I used to write plots for RPG Maker games I aways chased the cli-fi theme, earth was aways devastated by some natural catastrophe, but now that you asks I wonder. A asteroid hitting Earth is cli-fi?
FIVE SAYS: “I would simply call it sci-fi. Everyone knows (more or less) what that is, and ecology and climatology ARE sciences.”
Victor M. A. Ramos said:
A asteroid hitting Earth is cli-fi?
of course it would change the climate, but then so would a world-wide nuclear war…
it’s still gonna be ‘sci-fi’ or ‘post-apocalyptic’ to agents and publishers, depending on when it takes place and what happens in the story… i can’t see ‘cli-fi’ being adopted as a standard genre because it’s really only a sub-genre of one of those… 100% free writing help/mentoring: http://www.saysmom.com
LAST COMMENT SAID: “Cli-fi could very rapidly become ”cli-che” (a metaphor or phrase that has lost, though overuse, whatever impact it may have originally had).
Example being all the sub-genres that are suffixed with ”punk”. I cringe every time I see a new one. Can’t find anything on the shelf to read? Maybe a pen is what you need.”
Climatology is not natural science, it is more like social and political science meet and are married by priests of a new-age religion.
What struck me about the film “the day after tomorrow” is just how hard it is to make a disaster move about it getting a little bit warmer. The only way to make it work – dramatically – was to have the north Atlantic conveyor belt (thermohaline circulation) switch off so the temperature could drop. Which is much more frightening. I think that is telling something quite important about the AGW scare. I have not had time to read any “cli-fi” but I wonder if it follows the same pattern. How many ways have sci-fi authors found to make warming seem scary? Have they done any better than Al Gore?
True, a SUV-driving soccer mom tripped over the plug for the Atlantic conveyor belt and bye-bye NY.
Michael Quinion, a word collector in the UK who issues a weekly newsletter called World Wide Words covered CLI FI this week, writing:
This suddenly fashionable term, a shortening of climate fiction, is obviously based on sci-fi, an abbreviation for science fiction used mainly by those who are unfamiliar with it (fans and writers hate it and insist on SF, so perhaps we should be writing about CF instead).
Climate fiction is fundamentally dystopian. Its focus is the effect of climate change on human life, perhaps including its continuing existence. Most commentators have listed J G Ballard’s The Drowned World of 1962 as an early example, a prophetic tale in which melting ice-caps and rising sea levels led to the destruction of civilisation, though the cause was solar flares, not human-derived changes to the climate. In the past decade it has become a frequent theme in SF. Examples are Kim Stanley Robinson’s Science in the Capitol trilogy that began with Forty Signs of Rain in 2004, and The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi in 2009.
The term cli-fi appeared in 2012. Dan Bloom wrote an article on TeleRead on 9 March that year, using the term, though he has since stated that he actually invented it in 2007. Another early user was Margaret Atwood, which helped to bring it, and the genre, to much wider public attention (to the extent that an article in the Irish Times in December 2012 said she had invented it).
One interesting consequence of heightened awareness of the possible consequences of human influence on the planet is that the genre has begun to move from SF towards the literary mainstream — for example, Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood in 2009; Ian McEwan’s Solar of 2010; and Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behaviour, which was on the shortlist for the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction. An article in the Christian Science Monitor on 26 April was headlined, “Don’t call it ‘science fiction’. Cli-fi is literary fiction.”
Most of the mainstream works are set in the present day or the near future rather than looking speculatively at longer-term implications as SF novels tend to do.
Andy Revkin @Revkin tweeted last night: Inventor of “cli-fi” label for climate change science fiction @leinadmoolb explores genre on @JudithCurry blog: http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/09/cli-fi-takes-off/
Climate and weather are like chili powder and cumin –e.g., they both go together but they’re different.
The global warming charade of cli-fi media is the last auberge where the Leftist, wacky environmentalist liberal Utopians can still gather to cast their vote against Americanism by writing fearsome claptrap.
Who could go past this great moment in cli-fi:
“The book, which makes reference to the Kama Sutra, starts promisingly
enough as it tells the story of a climate expert with a lament for the denuded mountain slopes of Nainital, in northern India, where deforestation by the timber mafia and politicians has “endangered the fragile ecosystem”.
Other passages in the novel involve group sex and more risqué sexual practices.
He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, on behalf of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The cargo cult of alarmist global warming loves it’s cli-fi.
If everyone at least agreed CO2 was not a pollutant we wouldn’t know all climatists are pseudo-scientists.
Every few topics I get my hopes up that the level of propaganda is falling off here at Climate Etc.
The tribalism ebbs a bit. The name-calling reduces. Glittering generalities are replaced with specific, detailed, well-referenced points.
Thought-provoking information is discussed. Lines of reasoning both classical and original spring up.
And while people might not get along better, or might, who cares? The discussion, the salon, becomes for a few brief hours worthwhile again.
And then, there’s stuff like today.
This probably wouldn’t be too believable but how about a cli-fi about there having to be a lot of heat in the system, according to the AGW hypothesis, but it couldn’t be detected — and, it’s a shame that it couldn’t — because, just as everyone feared it was there even though the oceans were cooling it was really, really there… hiding deep, deep, deep in the deepest ocean… just waiting… until… it finally was found by Al Gore and slowly and safely dissipated by increasing taxes on all Americans.
If anyone is interested in the most plausible cli-fi novel out there, look on Amazon for A Change in the Weather by Raymond Welch.
Cli-fi plot with a twist: America’s second-hand smoke reverses runaway global warming and saves the polar bears.
It’s 2022, and global average temperatures have continued noisily constant, CO2 is at 460ppm, and aerosols are way down due to improved stack-scrubber technology. Climate alarmists searching for the “missing heat” are claiming it’s living in disguise in Argentina, and most power utilities are building solar/hydrogen systems at roughly the same cost as new gas-fired systems.
Suddenly, On June 19th, the Jet stream, which had been in a blocking high pattern for the last 6 weeks, splits into two, one of which merges with the Tibetan high-altitude high, producing massive rainstorms, with tornadoes, throughout Mongolia and eastern Siberia. Eastern Europe becomes a desert, while Western Europe sees balmy Mediterranean weather as far north as Stockholm. What’s left of the arctic ice melts within a few weeks, and alligators start hunting the shores of the Arctic Sea.
Massive crop failures rock the northern hemisphere, where most of the summer’s crops had already been planted and either dried up and blew away, or became waterlogged and rotted in the fields. An emergency suspension of the laws requiring 60% of corn crops to be dedicated as biofuel, along with rapid distribution and planting of crops appropriate to the new climate result in enough food being grown, predominantly in the modern “westernized” countries.
A worldwide food distribution system for donated relief food is set up under UN auspices, but hundreds of millions of people starve because local “governments” refuse to let food be delivered to anybody who doesn’t pass their loyalty tests. Much of the food that could have fed these people ends up rotting on loading docks, or stolen and sold to line the pockets of UN administrators.
Meanwhile, in the brand new city of Novo Atlantis, built mostly of graphite-reinforced plastics made from carbon recovered from CO2 in ocean water, a combination of public and private organizations is frantically working to create weather/climate models capable of even hind-casting the appearance of this new system of jet streams.
Opposition to this project is centered in the IPCC, which takes the position that this is simply a manifestation of “global warming” and the best way to deal with it is to immediately shut down all centralized and fossil fuel power plants. Even nuclear power is blamed, through “thermal pollution” in the form of heat energy that didn’t originally come from the sun and changes the energy balance of the planet.
The IPCC has sanctioned a large number of “eco-saboteurs”, charged with shutting down nuclear power in as dirty a way as possible, as well as attacking centralized solar and methane-fired power plants. A group has also been dispatched to Novo Atlantis, charged with shutting down the modeling project.
To be continued…
AK | June 10, 2013 at 12:30 am said: ”Mongolia and eastern Siberia. Eastern Europe becomes a desert, while Western Europe sees balmy Mediterranean weather as far north as Stockholm”
Bananas and pineapples will be growing in Scotland…?
read this: “Some Presumptuous Approaches to Science Fiction”
hmm, or if you cant get that, then read Spencer. she is the smartest person I know on Delany and what makes SF different. hmm someday I’ll tell you a funny story about delany and zalazny.
Spencer, Kathleen L. “Neveryon Deconstructed: Samuel R. Delany’s Tales of Neveryon and ‘The Modular Calculus’.” Ash of Stars: On the Writings of Samuel R. Delany. Ed. James Sallis. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1996. 127-161.
and there is this. good friend, great teacher, science fiction as gnosticism.
A new millennium approaches. The shelves of university storehouses are groaning under the weight of essays, discourses, theses on Derrida, Derridanism, post-Derridanism, neo-post Derridanism, Gendered Semiotics of Race, Post-Racial Gender Semiotics…
The future of education as a vast holding paddock for the stuck-up and unemployable is in doubt. The Published can’t perish fast enough. Peak Publication has happened!
There are no more fairy floss sinecures. All the plump consultancies in EO have been taken by those chicks with shoulder pads. Thousands are threatened with getting lives and finding jobs. The Horror.
But now our scene shifts to a lone bristlecone pine at dawn…
A significant difference between Cli-fi and Sci-fi. In Sci-fi when they are talking about terra-forming a planet, nobody ever argues about 1°C.
One of my personal favorites is “Fallen Angels,” by Larry Niven. It takes place in a near future, in which the Green Party took power in all of the world’s major countries and succeeded in implementing their plans to halt carbon emissions. As it happens in the story, the Greens were correct that man made CO2 had a substantial effect on the climate. Unfortunately, that CO2 was the only thing keeping the next ice age at bay. So the Green party promptly plunged us into an ice age, resulting in the death of 90% of the Earth’s population, and miserable impoverishment–intellectual and material–of the 10% remaining.
So what might be the first Cli-fi novel? Maybe by Kurt Vonnegut’s 1963 work, Cat’s Cradle? The Ice-9 climate disaster idea goes way back: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice-nine
A top sci fi genre researcher in the UK who initially dismissed the CLI Fi idea as useless, later writes to me and says: ”Oh, certainly let’s chat! I hope I didn’t come across too supercilious about “cli-fi” — I know these things aren’t altogether serious (indeed some friends and I a few years ago had great fun in labelling every genre we could think of along the [X]-fi line.”
Yesterday, a top sci fi critic and professor in the UK told that they did not l;ike the term CLI FI at all, writing:
“We really don’t need more terms, and I have to say, CLI makes me think clitoris.”
BUT LATER, after a nice exchange of emails they said that CLI FI just might work as a new subgenre of sci fi but added:
” The oddest phrases seep into the consciousness. The real issue is content.”
And I so agree. LABELS do not matter. what matters is the CONTENT of the book. A lalbel like cli fi MIGHT be useful mostly for editors, publishers, writers and some readers. BUT CONTENT IS QUEEN. YES
A minor theme of the novel, but weird weather is present in the not-too-distant-future in Kunstler’s World Made by Hand. Brief review at: http://lowtechtimes.com/2011/05/20/world-made-by-hand/
Yes yes JHK is great writer of CLI FI too. yes.
PW refuses to even give its readers a chance to HEAR about CLI FI, pro or con? That PW stands for Publishers Weekly. See my Open Letter today to the editor there, who said he was “not interested” in cli fi news or links period. I ask for a second opinion.
.From your letter:
“Not interested, Jim, in the future of the planet? Not interested, Jim, in the future of literature? Not interested, Jim, in the future of the book industry?”
No Danny. He’s not interested in your promotion of a group of self-indulgent, self-important, self-appointed messiahs with little to say, but lots of words to say it.
He’ll get interested in my ‘Equatorial Cities’ broadsheet, soon enough, only printed by mimeo and circulated in the heat of the night.
”No Danny. He’s not interested in your promotion of a group of self-indulgent, self-important, self-appointed messiahs with little to say, but lots of words to say it.”
True, Jeez, he is not interested, and he has every right to say no and not print the links, sure. He is the gatekeeper and he has been at it a long time. I respect his professionalism and even his decision not to run links to CLi FI news in the Guardian, sure, It’s his magazine. BUT Jeez, the next daty he runs a link to the Guardian titled “God and science fiction.” So he is obviously aware of literary genres and the Guardian newspaper. But sure, he has every right to be “not interested”. i agree witt you Jeez. Still, what would it hurt to let his PW readers know the link to CLI FI in the Guardian or even closer to home, Dr Curry’s blog here or the NPR news link? That is all I was saying, in a humorous/serious IS ANYBODY HOME way. Jim is a good man. I hope he responds. — Danny
To rephrase: “He’s not interested in your WHINY, PATRONIZING, humorous/serious promotion of a group of self-indulgent, self-important, self-appointed messiahs with little to say, but lots of words to say it.”
“Is anybody home?”
I’m looking forward to reading Tony White’s intriguing-sounding ”Shackleton’s Man Goes South”, inspired by a residency at the Science Museum, and based on scraps of an early 20th-century story which was one of the first to ever mention climate change. White’s story “flips” the Shackleton narrative, and makes it a desperate escape to Antarctica in a hot world…
NEW ZEALAND TOO – New Zealand’s ”Cormac McCarthy”’ Pens Apocalyptic ‘The Road’ in
One of the problems
with the publishing industry is that it is centered in New York and
London, for Englsh language novels, and very little good literature
written in Australia and New Zealand ever makes it to the norther
It’s a shame, really, because those two island nations Down Under have
a lot of talent, especially in the fields of rock music, pop music,
film making (Peter Jackson, Buz Lurhman) and climate change awareness
(Tim Flannery). A very important book published in New Zealand in
2000, long before Cormac McCarthy won a Pulitzer Prize for his dark
novel of the coming apocalypse titled “The Road”, deserves a new
edition in North America and Europe — not only because the writer
Chris Baker is a time traveler worth getting acquainted with, but also
because his book “Kokopu Dreams” is one of the most important novels
written this century.
Who is Chris Baker? His work is not known in the publishing offices of
Manhattan or London, but it should be. A native New Zealander, now in
his 60, Baker grew up in small towns all around New Zealand and worked
as a journalist and editor there to find work in fencing, bush and
farm work, driving, construction work and concrete finishing. He was a
vocal environmental campaigner in the 1970s, and now he lives in
semi-retirement in the city of Dunedin. New Zealand seems so far away,
but in a globalized world now connected by the Internet, it should not
be off the radar anymore.
@jeez,we can politely and civilly agree to disagree sir and I respect your POV. ….. YAHOO! news does a big story on CLI FI which I think because of the reach of YAHOO on the internet will reach many people around the world..so far the comments are pro AND con…..feel free to leave a comment there. the more the merrier..
the same piece appeared in a Hollywood website THE WRAP at THEWRAP.COM
where i have a blog:
Sci Fi, Cli Fi ,We All Cry,– the End Is Nigh
From Yahoo! Movies: by Dan Bloom
Last month I noted here at TheWrap how two stories at
NPR and the Christian Science Monitor catapulted the emerging literary and
The difference between cli-fi and cli-sci is? The former is correctly and honestly labelled.
CLI FI is now reported in Chinese-language media here:
CLI FI CENTRAL: ‘Cli-fi’ – a new literary genre
Danny, have you figured out that CAGW was cli-fi?
Kim, i am still studying the issue. SMILE. but Kim, this term has nothing to do with climate science or pseudo climate science or denialists or skeptics or warmists or lukwarmists or activist or scientists. Kim, this is a literary genre term, for novels or short stories or movies about CLIMATE and the works can be as varied as STATE OF FEAR, which rejects AGW and ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW which accepts AGW. So this is neutral literary subgenre of sci fi term. Nothing more nothing less. It’s a way to shelve books in a bookstore or library and a way for editors and publ;ishers and writeers and readers to percecive climate themed books, from all angles and POV. CLI FI is not just for climate acitivists to write as novels or movies, but also for climate skeptics to write, too. IT is for all of us. Not a political term at all.
It is great to see fiction keeping up with science and scientists. Writers tend to be of above average intelligent, and much better informed than average. It’s an excellent way to explain science to people who do not keep up with the science journals.
CLI FI POLL Joe Follansbee created a public poll to see how people feel about the use of CLI FI — climate fiction novels and movies — as a new literary genre for climate-themed novels. Leave your comments below or email us here:
CLI FI as a new literary genre is: VOTE FOR JUST ONE!
1. The world of the future
2. Something to keep an eye on
3. Just another genre
4. Not all that interesting
5. Lame lame lame
hat tip to Joe Follansbee, author of a cli fi novel in progress titled CARBON RUN
CLI FI REALLy takes off today in UK with bookstore sign
Notice STATE OF FEAR on table too!
Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the
pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.
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TIME magazine will post a cli fi news story related to Hollywood movies in the next issue online May 8, 2014….issue dated May 19 on the cover but avail online May 8 and on sale May 9