January 15, 2021
The topic of climate isn’t a new element in storytelling; the environment plays heavily in a lot of works of speculative fiction. However, the term “Cli-Fi” (Climate Fiction) is relatively new, having been first coined by journalist and climate activist Dan Bloom back in 2010. This genre, a play on the term Sci-Fi, explores climate change and global warming, playing out these changes in the world to a logical endpoint.
An article written for NPR in 2013 by Angela Evancie explains it best: “ …[O]f course, science fiction with an environmental bent has been around since the 1960s (Think J. G. Ballard’s The Drowned World). But while sci-fi usually takes place in a dystopian future, Cli-fi happens in a dystopian present.”
The article also shared that people in the scientific community are finding Cli-Fi to be a powerful signal boost for those trying to bring awareness to particular climate-related concerns—a prime example of the power of stories!
If you’re interested in exploring the Cli-Fi genre, here are some of my favorites to get you started:
- Loosed Upon the World: The Saga Anthology of Climate Fiction by Margaret Atwood
- Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
- New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
- We Are Unprepared by Meg Little Reilly
- Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
- Solar by Ian McEwan
- Above the Ether by Eric Barnes
- Austral by Paul J. McAuley
- Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
- The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
- Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich
If you’re interested in movies of this genre, check out this list of Natural Disasters in Film. Also, if you’d like to receive personalized reading recommendations, in this or any other genre, check out the Library’s new service, Your Next Read!
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