Now Reading: In the Midst of Climate Change, Here are 5 ‘Cli-Fi’ Books to Read


In the Midst of Climate Change, Here are 5 ‘Cli-Fi’ Books to Read

October 17, 20176 min read

Sitting at my desk in front of my window, I have the view of the eerie orange hue that has tinted my outer surroundings, and, evidently, many other places in the UK, as there have been warnings night and day of the commencing hurricane Ophelia. The BBC has reported that this “red sun” has been caused by the hurricane. This red sun has caused an atmosphere that would be complementary to a halloween film or an apocalypse.

Though, this is not the first the world has seen of hurricanes this year. There has been large amounts of damage due to these hurricanes. For example, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. Hurricane Harvey is another example of the cause of ruin and floods. Hurricane Irma also hit Florida and the Virgin Islands. According to the New York Times, just 14 days after Irma hit the Virgin Islands, “the second storm drowned what the first couldn’t destroy.” One must not forget the earthquake in Mexico — Guardian reported that at least 225 died during the earthquake.

Those mentioned are just the beginning of the list of the disasters of 2017. The US News produced a listicle on other disasters including the monsoon in Sri Lanka and the snowfall in Afghanistan that caused the death of mostly women and children.

These disasters were only heightened by the warming of the earth, according to Climate Signals. There has been a rise in sea level and a warmer atmosphere that has warmed sea surfaces as reported by Climate Signals — and these warm sea surfaces speed up hurricanes. The warmer air holds a greater amount of moisture that evokes this greater risk of flooding and rainfall.

As a result of disasters, the literary world has birthed a new genre: Cli-Fi (Climate Fiction). Cli-Fi explores the hardships that may come from climate change. In this new genre, there is a sense of realism and features of dystopia. There have been shortages of books in this genre in contrast to the focus of writers on the political/socio/economic climate, but this genre has been on the rise for a short amount of time and may heighten readers awareness of the frightening potential future. Dan Bloom (journalist and teacher) insisted that Cli-Fi may be the “wake up call” that people need.

Here is a “wake up call” list of blurbs selected from goodreads:

1. “MaddAddam” (Trilogy) by Margaret Atwood 

A man-made plague has swept the earth, but a small group survives, along with the green-eyed Crakers – a gentle species bio-engineered to replace humans…

(Source: goodreads)

2. “The Windup Girl” by Paolo Bacigalupi 

Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen’s Calorie Man in Thailand… he encounters Emiko… the Windup Girl… Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman, but now abandoned to the streets of Bangkok. Regarded as soulless beings by some, devils by others, New People are slaves, soldiers, and toys of the rich in a chilling near future in which calorie companies rule the world, the oil age has passed, and the side effects of bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe. 

(Source: goodreads)

3. “The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future” by Naomi Oreskes and Eric M. Conway 

“The year is 2393, and a senior scholar of the Second People’s Republic of China presents a gripping and deeply disturbing account of how the children of the Enlightenment, the political and economic elites of the so-called advanced industrial societies, entered into a Penumbral period in the early decades of the twenty-first century, a time when sound science and rational discourse about global change were prohibited and clear warnings of climate catastrophe were ignored. What ensues when soaring temperatures, rising sea levels, drought, and mass migrations disrupt the global governmental and economic regimes? The Great Collapse of 2093.

This work… reasserts the importance of scientists and the work they do and reveals the self-serving interests of the so called “carbon industrial complex” that have turned the practice of sound science into political fodder.”

(Source: goodreads)

4. “Do Not Resuscitate” by Nicholas Ponticello 

“Do Not Resuscitate is the firsthand account of Jim Frost, an aging misanthropist who witnessed the rise and fall of the United States as a world power, the digitalization of the planet, the advent of the water wars, and the near collapse of the global economy…”

(Source: goodreads)

5. “The Carbon Diaries 2015” by Saci Lloyd 

“It’s January 1st, 2015, and the UK is the first nation to introduce carbon dioxide rationing in a drastic bid to combat climate change. As her family spirals out of control, Laura Brown chronicles the first year of rationing with scathing abandon.”

(Source: goodreads)

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Tayla J.H

Tayla is UK based. She also has works in KILORAN magazine.