I have just discovered a new genre: cli-fi, or climate change fiction. Set in the present or near future, these novels imagine a changed world once the effects of climate change are really beginning to be felt.
It’s not such a new genre to me, after all. I read David Brin’s Earth and Kim Stanley Robinson’s Forty Signs of Rain quite some time ago, and science fiction writers have been speculating about climate change for a long time now. Cli-fi now seems to be gaining some literary legitimacy, though, with writers like Ian McEwan (Solar), Margaret Atwood (the Oryx and Crake trilogy) and David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks) tackling the subject.
If you are interested in this sub-genre, I highly recommend you start with Rivers by Michael Farris Smith. Set in the near future on the Mississippi coast, which is ravaged by perpetual storms and has been abandoned by the US government, this is a beautifully written and powerful novel.
For further reading, here’s my cli-fi list on LibraryThing.
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