What is Cli-Fi? Climate change fiction is a new lit- erary 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 dicta- torship 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 at- tention 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 The Drowned 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. Writ- ten in an accessible style, it fills the gap between academic studies and online blogs, offering a comprehensive look at this timely new genre.
Axel Goodbody is Emeritus Professor of Ger- man and European Culture at the University of Bath. He has published widely on literary representations of nature and environment and on ecocritical theory. He was a founding member of the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture and Environment and its President from 2004 to 2006. Current projects include editing a special issue of Resilience on literary and historical stories of en- ergy and co-authoring a transnational ecocritical analysis of climate change scepticism. Adeline Johns-PutrA is Reader in English Literature at the University of Surrey. Her main research interest is climate change and literature. She was Chair of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, UK and Ireland from 2011 to 2015. Her monograph Climate Change and the Contemporary Novel and edited volume Climate and Literature are forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. She is a member of the editorial board of Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism.
Oxford, 2019. VIII, 236 pp., 31 fig. col.
Genre Fiction and Film Companions. Vol. 2
pb. ISBN 978-1-78874-072-2