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A Companion


Edited By Axel Goodbody and Adeline Johns-Putra

What is Cli-Fi?

Climate change fiction is a new literary phenomenon that emerged at the turn of the twenty-first century in response to what may be society’s greatest challenge. Climate change is already part responsible for extreme weather events, flooding, desertification and sea level rise, leading to famine, the spread of disease, and population displacement. Cli-fi novels and films are typically set in the future, telling of disaster and its effect on humans, or they depict the present, beset by dilemmas, conflicts or conspiracies, and pointing to grave consequences. At their heart are ethical and political questions: will humankind rise to the challenge of acting collectively, in the interest of the future? What sacrifices will be necessary, and is a green dictatorship our only hope for survival as a species?

Each chapter in this volume offers a way of reading a particular literary text or film, drawing attention to themes, formal features, reception, contribution to public debate, and issues for class discussion. Popular novels and films (Kim Stanley Robinson’s Science in the Capitol trilogy, Michael Crichton’s State of Fear, Ian McEwan’s Solar, and The Day after Tomorrow) are examined alongside lesser known writing (for instance J. G. Ballard’s «proto-climate change» novel The Drowned World and Antti Tuomainen’s Finnish thriller, The Healer), and films not generally thought of as being about climate change (Frozen and Take Shelter).

The book, which includes an introduction tracing the emergence and influence of cli-fi, is directed towards general readers and film enthusiasts as well as teachers and students. Written in an accessible style, it fills the gap between academic studies and online blogs, offering a comprehensive look at this timely new genre.

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Notes on Contributors


LIEVEN AMEEL is Collegium Researcher at the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies, with an affiliation in comparative literature. Research interests include city literature, urban futures and narratives in urban planning. He is the co-editor of a new Palgrave book series in Literary Urban Studies.

MARK ANDERSON is Associate Professor of Latin American Literatures and Cultures at the University of Georgia. He is author of Disaster Writing: The Cultural Politics of Disaster in Latin America (University of Virginia, 2011) and co-editor with Zélia Bora of Ecological Crisis and Cultural Representation in Latin America (Lexington Books, 2016).

HANNES BERGTHALLER is a professor at the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature of National Chung-Hsing University, Taiwan. His research focuses on the literature and cultural history of US environmentalism, ecocritical theory and social systems theory. He is currently working on a book about the Anthropocene (together with Eva Horn).

KIU-WAI CHU is a postdoctoral fellow in the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture, Western Sydney University. His research focuses on contemporary cinema and art in Asia, Ecocriticism and environmental humanities. His work has appeared in Transnational Ecocinema, Ecomedia: Key Issues, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Oxford Bibliographies and elsewhere.

JIM CLARKE is Senior Lecturer in English and Journalism at Coventry University. He is the author of The Aesthetics of Anthony Burgess (Palgrave, 2017) and Science Fiction and Catholicism (Gylphi Press, forthcoming). He has written eco-critically about works by J. R. R. Tolkien and J....

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