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 TheDrowned 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.
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Wien, 2019. VIII, 236 pp., 31 fig. col.
CONTENTS: Jim Clarke: J. G. Ballard’s The Drowned World (1962) – Psycho-Geographical Cli-Fi – Thomas H. Ford: Max Frisch’s
Man in the Holocene (1980) – Geological Cli-Fi – Mark Anderson: Ignacio Brandão’s And Still the Earth (1981)
– Political Cli-Fi – Thomas H. Ford: George Turner’s The Sea and Summer (1987) – Urban Dystopian Cli-Fi
– Dana Phillips: Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy (2003–2013) – Post-Apocalyptic Cli-Fi – M. Isabel Pérez-Ramos:
Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl (2009) – Biopunk Cli-Fi – Antonia Mehnert: Steven Amsterdam’s Things We
Didn’t See Coming (2009) – Riskscape Cli-Fi – Axel Goodbody: Ilija Trojanow’s The Lamentations of Zeno (2011/2016)
– Prophetic Cli-Fi – Kiu-Wai Chu: Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer (2014) – Adventure Cli-Fi – Stef Craps:
Jeff Nichols’s Take Shelter (2011) – Psychic Cli-Fi – Adeline Johns-Putra: Maggie Gee’s The Ice People (1998)
and The Flood (2004) – State of the Nation Cli-Fi – Adam Trexler: T. C. Boyle’s A Friend of the Earth (2000)
– Activism in Cli-Fi – Chris Pak: Kim Stanley Robinson’s Science in the Capitol Trilogy (2004–2007) – Science
and Politics in Cli-Fi – Sylvia Mayer: Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behaviour (2012) – Class and Religion in
Cli-Fi – Hannes Bergthaller: Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow (2013) – Risk and Rationality in Cli-Fi
– Alexa Weik von Mossner: Franny Armstrong’s The Age of Stupid (2009) – Documentary Cli-Fi – Alexa Weik von
Mossner: Roland Emmerich’s The Day After Tomorrow (2004) – Apocalyptic Cli-Fi – Greg Garrard: Michael Crichton’s
State of Fear (2004) – Denialist Cli-Fi – Terry Gifford: Liz Jensen’s The Rapture (2009) – Thriller
Cli-Fi – Bradon Smith: Will Self ’s The Book of Dave (2006) – Satirical Cli-Fi – Richard Kerridge: Ian McEwan’s
Solar (2010) – British Comic Cli-Fi – Lieven Ameel: Antti Tuomainen’s The Healer (2013) – Nordic
Crime Cli-Fi – David Whitley: Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee’s Frozen (2013) – Fantasy Cli-Fi – Reinhard Hennig:
Jostein Gaarder’s The World According to Anna (2013/2015) – Didactic Cli-Fi – Sina Farzin: Saci Lloyd’s The
Carbon Diaries 2015 (2008) – Coming-of-Age Cli-Fi – Ursula K. Heise: David Brin’s Earth (1990) – Epic
Cli-Fi – Bradon Smith: David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks (2014) – Genre Pluralism in Cli-Fi – Louise Squire:
Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone Gods (2007) – Postmodern Cli-Fi – Iva Polak: Alexis Wright’s The Swan Book
(2013) – Indigenous Cli-Fi.