Unless you have been living in complete media and social media blackout this past week, you will have heard about the massive climate strike action by school children taking place all over the world the past few days, as well as Greta Thunberg’s passionate speech in front of the United Nations. Climate change and climate crisis have become major talking points (with good reason).
But it is not only scientists and the next generation of children who are talking about climate change and its future effects on our world. A new genre of fiction has also arisen as a side affect of the climate crisis and it is starting to gain some traction. I am talking about CliFi.
What is CliFi?
CliFi, an abbreviation of ‘Climate Fiction’, first came into use around 2013 and was coined by journalist Dan Bloom. A niche subgenre of speculative fiction (and closely related to both sci-fi and dystopian fiction), it generally focuses on dystopian futures where the world has been severely impacted by climate change. It imagines a world that could more than likely become all too real in the near future and relies heavily on scientific predictions, such as rising sea waters and rising temperatures.
Why is CliFi Becoming More Popular?
Climate change and climate crisis are increasingly being talked about in the media and on social media. Climate activists, such as Greta Thunberg, are drawing our collective attention to these issues. As we progress closer to a time where climate change may be irreversible, climate fiction paints a picture of what a possible future might look like. It gets us to think about “what-if?” In some ways CliFi acts as a warning–a call to action: “If we don’t do something now, this is what our world will become. Let’s keep fiction as fiction and not let it become our reality.”
If you are interested in reading some CliFi for yourself, check out the Drowned Earth kickstarter campaign–a series of eight novellas set in a near-future world thrown into chaos by climate change. You can also subscribe to this blog or any of my social media channels so you can be one of the first to know when my own CliFi novella The Jindabyne Secret is released later this year.
For further reading on the topic of CliFi, check out the following articles:
Imagining both utopian and dystopian climate futures is crucial – which is why cli-fi is so important.
CliFi – A new way to talk about climate change.
Read any great clifi lately? Drop some titles in the comments!
Earth image by TheDigitalArtist on Pixabay