Dystopian reality.

posted in: This Brittle Land | 1

A recent post on Think Progress caught my eye, both for its title and its content: This Is The Dystopian World We Are Leaving For Today’s Teenagers.

Credit Lori Nix’s dystopian dioramas

Brilliant title, of course, since today’s teens are devouring dystopian fiction like The Hunger Games and Divergent in print and in movie theaters. But unfortunately, terrifying content. Because unless we change course and do more to reduce the emissions that are warming the planet and acidifying our oceans, we’re currently on course to leave today’s teens a world that will BE pretty horribly dystopian. Droughts in some places, flooding in others, food and water shortages, and heat that will make today’s heatwaves look temperate.

So it’s not surprising that climate change fiction, or “cli-fi,” is becoming a genre all its own, in novels and cinema. From Barbara Kingsolver’s evocative Flight Behavior to Hugh Howey’s delicious The Shell Collector (out next week, pre-order now!), to films like Interstellar (a “cli-fi classic“) and even the overwrought Day After Tomorrow, cli-fi is full of marvelous stories that inspire without beating you over the head.

I touch on climate change’s impacts in my novel, This Brittle Land, to be released next year, but I never mention climate change by name. (Neither does Hugh Howey in The Shell Collector, for that matter.) So does that make these novels “cli-fi” or something else? How about dystopian reality fiction?

One Response

  1. Loved this post, and looking forward to hearing more and reading one day your new novel in the works. RE: “I touch on climate change’s impacts in my new novel, ”This Brittle Land”, to be released in 2015, but I never mention climate change by name. (Neither does Hugh Howey in The Shell Collector, for that matter.) [AND NEITHER does Nathaniel Rich in Odds Against Tomorrow, he told that to NPR show in 2013.] So does that make these novels “cli-fi” ? YES and it makes your novel cli fi too. Cli fi is a very broad term, platform and Scott Thill of Wired mag calls it a “cultural prism”…I call it also a “critical prism” in which to see the world and the arts today re climate issues. So no need say the words AGW or climate change in your book. If the theme is related to climate issues, it’s clli fi, IN MY BOOK! haha. dystopian cli fi is another term. but CLI FI has the short ring for media headlines and reviews and it was created for that purpose. but use any genre term you wish, of course. THE BRITTLE LAND sounds perfect for 2015. with Calif drought and recent NPR piece by Jason Heller on Ballard novels. And Kat, in May 2015, Paolo Bacigalupi said as ‘bah chee gah LOO pee” 5th generation Italian American on his father’s side. his cli fi novel THE WATER KNIFE is coming out in major launch, about water wars in 2060 between two USA cities, Las vegas and Phoenix. So your book will come out at a good time for all this. GO GO GO. the world needs your book!

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