Sorry about that, but posts and articles about climate change fiction seem especially prone to bad puns…
In any case, climate change fiction (or “cli-fi” to use the rather ugly short form) is fiction — either speculative or realistic — that takes as it’s basis the fact that the earth’s climate is changing and jumps off from there.
It’s actually been around for quite a long time in various guises, even before it became obvious that anthropogenic global warming was an issue, with JG Ballard’s The Wind from Nowhere and The Drowned World being perhaps the earliest modern examples. Not surprisingly, the last 20 or 30 years has seen a bunch of climate change novels being published with a number of particularly notable ones in the last 5 years or so.
Mostly, I think, with the hope that by dramatizing the effects of climate change that it will seem more real and that the general public will therefore be more likely to for one, believe that it’s real and for another, actually want to do something about it, individually and collectively. Similarly by making scientists seem more human somehow the ideas that they are trying to communicate will seem more real and more urgent. On the other hand, the whole movement may mostly be preaching to the converted.
Recently there’s been a number of articles, websites and blog posts analyzing climate change fiction. See so many of them is what’s inspired me to gather those articles as well as many of the books they mention
Below I’ll list a bunch of the most interesting looking ones chronologically and leave it up to my readers to figure out which ones to pursue in more depth. After the list I’m also going to list the posts, articles and sites that I used in my research. Danny Bloom has done a lot of work in this area and his material has been invaluable.
I’ve read a few of the books on the list but not many. So in a sense, this is very much a list for my own use over the next year or so.
- 1962: The Drowned World: A Novel by JG Ballard
- 1987: The Sea and Summer by George Turner
- 1999: Greenhouse Summer by Norman Spinrad
- 2001: Carbon Dreams by Susan M. Gaines
- 2001: A Friend of the Earth by T.C. Boyle
- 2003: Oryx and Crake (Maddaddam Trilogy) by Margaret Atwood
- 2004: Forty Signs of Rain (Science in the Capital Trilogy) by Kim Stanley Robinson
- 2008: Arctic Drift by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler
- 2008: The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson
- 2009: Far North: A Novel by Marcel Theroux
- 2010: Solar by Ian McEwan
- 2010: Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
- 2011: Welcome to the Greenhouse edited by Gordon Van Gelder
- I’m With the Bears: Short Stories from a Damaged Planet (short story collection, no editor listed)
- 2012: Flight Behavior: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
- 2012: Arctic Rising by Tobias Buckell
- 2012: From Here by David Kramb
- 2013: Odds Against Tomorrow: A Novel by Nathaniel Rich
- 2013: The Healer: A Novel by Antti Tuomainen
- 2013: Back to the Garden by Clara Hume
- 2013: Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block
- 2014: The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future by Naomi Oreskes & Erik M. Conway
- CliFi Central
- Eco-Fiction & Cli-Fi Books
- Cli Fi Wikipedia page
- Climate change in popular culture Wikipedia page
- Climate Change entry from the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
- Climate change: The hottest thing in science fiction by Dave Burdick
- 2011: Will Fiction Influence How We React to Climate Change / New York Times Debate
- The Rise of Climate Fiction by Bill Chameides
- Cli-Fi: Birth of a Genre by Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow
- Global warning: the rise of ‘cli-fi’ by Rodge Glass
- Climate change fiction melts away just when it’s needed by David Kramb
- So Hot Right Now: Has Climate Change Created A New Literary Genre? by Angela Evancie
- Scenes from a Melting Planet: On the Climate-Change Novel by Carolyn Kormann
- How science fiction could get climate change right by Annalee Newitz
These list obviously only scratch the surface. If anyone has any particular recommendations that I don’t mention here, please feel free to include them in comments.