Since Earth Day was last week on April 22nd, I (as per usual) did some research on new things happening in the world of environmentally-conscious people. Usually I find articles about new technologies; this year, however, I found an article on a budding genre of films/novels: “Cli-Fi.” Now, as a certified nerd, this has become one of my new favorite things.
Focusing on how global warming does and will change the course of humanity, these stories are serving as thought provokers rather than presenting it as a set of disturbing data. Global warming is now a cultural phenomenon. Fiction has always been capable of emotionally and philosophically changing us– researchers have witnessed similar effects on those who have watched films like “The Day After Tomorrow.” Fear can be a powerful tool.
The general motifs in these stories have been deemed the following: “The Social Breakdown,” “The Conspiracy,” the “Loss of Wilderness,” and “The Sphere.” The UN Panel of Climate Change has been pushing similar themes for years. The difference? Fiction is more accessible than an article or proposal from the UN.
Writers of Cli-fi have an important role to play in finding ways to slow down and stop climate change.
If you’re interested in some Cli-fi stories see a list below:
By Marcel Theroux
Picador, 2010, 320 pp.
I’m With the Bears: Short Stories from a Damaged Planet
Edited by Mark Martin
Verso, 2011, 208 pp.
Back to the Garden
By Clara Hume
Moon Willow Press, 2012, 271 pp.
The Healer: A Novel
By Antti Tuomainen, Henry Holt and Co., 2013, 224 pp.
Odds Against Tomorrow: A Novel
By Nathaniel Rich, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013, 320 pp.
by Ian McEwan,
Nan A. Talese, 2010, 304 pp.
A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America
By Jon Mooallem
Penguin Press HC, 2013, 368 pp.