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A Hero's Journey Through Science Fiction

‘Sci-Fi’ or ‘Cli-Fi’…

Does science fiction have a new sub-genre called ‘cli-fi’, short for climate-fiction? Rodge Glass of The Guardian says:

“Whereas 10 or 20 years ago it would have been difficult to identify even a handful of books that fell under this banner, there is now a growing corpus of novels setting out to warn readers of possible environmental nightmares to come. …There’s an argument for saying this is simply rebranding: sci-fi writers have been engaging with the climate-change debate for longer than literary novelists – Snow by Adam Roberts comes to mind – and I do wonder whether this is a term designed for squeamish writers and critics who dislike the box labelled “science fiction”. So the term is certainly imperfect, but it’s also valuable. Unlike sci-fi, cli-fi writing comes primarily from a place of warning rather than discovery. There are no spaceships hovering in the sky; no clocks striking 13. On the contrary, many of the horrors described seem oddly familiar.”

Thanks to Terri Main at Science Fiction and Mystery Writers for the tip.

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8 thoughts on “‘Sci-Fi’ or ‘Cli-Fi’…

  1. I think there are so many ‘cli-fi’ stories out there that it could be its own genre maybe, however sci-fi’s kind of always done that. During the Cold War nuclear science fiction could have been its own genre, but wasn’t. ‘Nu-sci’…?

  2. Hi RPS, dan bloom in Taiwan here. I am the bloke who coined the cli fi term in 2007, and Guardian briefly mentioned that. I must say that for me the term CLI FI is a subgenre of sci fi, that’s how i see it and how i meant it to be. But the NPR story and Christian Science Monitor story in April incorrectl reported CLI FI to be a new genre unto itself. which as not factual, and of course neither NPR nor CSM contacted me for the story, although they were aware of my work on CLI FI they later told me by email. Sigh. Sloppy lazy MSM meda. Guardian did better job in Uk with the news story which i had lobbied them for, smile, and the FINANCIAL TIMES newspaper in UK also did a good story. any questions re CLI Fi please feel free to ask, danbloom AT gmail — and i have no agenda. I love CLI FI, Isaac Asimov is my main man and i know his niece in San Francisco. Cheers DANNY BLOOM 1949-2032,…..Tufts 1971 grad….reporter editor climate activist in Taiwan since 1991

    http://pcillu101.blogspot.com

  3. Hi RPS, dan bloom in Taiwan here. I am the bloke who coined the cli fi term in 2007, and Guardian briefly mentioned that. I must say that for me the term CLI FI is a subgenre of sci fi, that’s how i see it and how i meant it to be.

  4. But the NPR story and Christian Science Monitor story in April incorrectl reported CLI FI to be a new genre unto itself. which as not factual, and of course neither NPR nor CSM contacted me for the story, although they were aware of my work on CLI FI they later told me by email. Sigh. Sloppy lazy MSM meda.

  5. Guardian did better job in Uk with the news story which i had lobbied them for, smile, and the FINANCIAL TIMES newspaper in UK also did a good story. any questions re CLI Fi please feel free to ask, danbloom AT gmail

  6. and i have no agenda. I love CLI FI, Isaac Asimov is my main man and i know his niece in San Francisco. Cheers DANNY BLOOM 1949-2032,…..Tufts 1971 grad….reporter editor climate activist in Taiwan since 1991

  7. Hi, really good article. You might be interested to hear about a Cli-fi Facebook Group I’ve set up. It would b great to see you there https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/320538704765997/

  8. Pingback: Classic or Modern, #SciFi is #GoodReads #amreading | Kate Rauner

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