Sunday, June 24, 2018

MOUNTAIN a cli-fi novel by Ursula Pflug

Mountaina novel by Ursula Pflug

Longlisted, 2018 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic
(Young Adult Fiction)

Seventeen-year-old Camden splits her time between her father, a minor rock star, and her mom, a scruffy “hardware geek” who designs and implements temporary and sustainable power systems and satellite linkups for off-grid music and art festivals, tree-sits, and attends gatherings of alternative healers. Lark, Camden’s father, provides her with brand-name jeans, running shoes, and makeup, while her mother’s world is populated by anarchists, freaks, geeks, and hippies. Naturally, Camden prefers staying with her dad and going to the mall with his credit card and her best friend, but one summer, when Lark is recording a new album, Camden accompanies her mother, Laureen, to a healing camp on a mountain in Northern California. After their arrival, Laureen heads to San Francisco, ostensibly to find her lover, but she never comes back. Alone, penniless, and without much in the way of camping skills, Camden withdraws. Things begin to look up when she is befriended by Skinny, a young man in charge of the security detail at the camp who knew her mother as a child. The summer ends and Camden heads back to Toronto to find her dad, and it’s only there that she learns Laureen’s disappearance is tied, unexpectedly, to the secrets Skinny tried to keep from her for months, until, finally, he couldn’t.
“A beautifully sustained and compassionate book about the lost, written in the voice of Camden, a young girl who is, predictably rather than suddenly, abandoned in a healing “camp” halfway up a Mountain in California. Intelligent and wary, she does not ask for sympathy or let anyone, including the reader, nearher voice is cool, sarcastic and resigned, though Ursula Pflug’s mastery gives us the continuous sense of what is not said. This is not a novel of the expected. In the stagnant daily routines on the Mountain (mud and latrines and wet clothes form a large part), the isolation of each from each, the loss of family and attempts to create new bonds however fragile, there is a continuous sense of this book’s being written in the shadow of real migrant camps. This is a novel that does not allow us to turn away.”
—Heather Spears, author of The Strong Box
“A delicate, bittersweet story full of big ideas, told in sumi-e brushstrokes set against a large-scale canvas, from master Canadian fantasist Ursula Pflug.”

—Candas Jane Dorsey, author of A Paradigm of Earth

Dirigibles of Denali by Nathan Shafer

Dirigibles of Denali by Nathan Shafer

July 6 – September 18, 2018
Dirigibles of Denali is an augmented reality app/interactive print project reimagining three domed cities that were planned, but never built in Alaska: Seward’s Success, Denali City and Arctic Town. All three domed cities will be virtually constructed on location in Alaska, using mobile augmented reality technology (overlaying virtual information on the real world), creating site-specific, digitally tangible environments using the original historic city plans. In situ, high-resolution images of these three pieces of site-specific augmented reality and a collected anthology of commissioned alternate history stories written by contemporary Alaskan authors will form the basis of the interactive book and museum show, where the works can be
activated using target-based augmented reality.

'This Worldly': Cli-Fi Novels in Review, In A Way That The New York Times Books Section Might Emulate Someday (Part 1)

'This Worldly': Cli-Fi Novels in Review, In A Way New York Times Books Section Might Emulate Someday (Part 1)

by Dan Bloom and agencies

Climate change is no abstraction in cli-fi,  for many of us today, it's up close and personal, and the new 21st century literary genre puts climate change in human terms we can all understand.

The new literary genre of fiction has joined the ranks of eco-science eco-fantasy and eco-thrillers. It’s been dubbed cli-fi, or “climate change fiction.”

One literary critic in New York has even started writing a new monthly column devoted to cli-fi novels.
She says cli-fi novels come in many different styles. For example, novelist Kim Stanley Robinson’s cli-fi novel ''New York 2140'' depicts a Manhattan in the distant future that has been drastically altered by sea-level rise.

Another author, Barbara Kingsolver, tells a more subtle cli-fi story in ''Flight Behaviour." The popular novel is about a country woman who discovers a colony of monarch butterflies near her rural home in Tennessee, their migratory paths changed by rising temperatures.

The one thing that all cli-fi novels have in common is that climate change plays some role in the lives of the people that the stories depict.

As you can imagine, a novel about climate change does something for readers that a news article cannot. It makes climate change not an abstract concept but a story that readers can digest and understand and really feel at an emotional level.

The 30-something New York-based literary who writes the "Burning Worlds" column hopes that these books, and that her monthly ''cli-fi trends'' column, can inspire new conversations about climate change and how it affects us all.

In Canada, cli-fi is also in the air.

In fact, a new "cli-fi" anthology of short stories brings Canadian visions of future climate crises.

''A woman waits in line to get her water ration. She hasn’t had a sip of water in nearly three days. Her mouth is parched; she stumbles as she waits her turn for over an hour in the hot sun. When she he finally gets to the iTap and inserts her card into the machine that controls the water flow, the light turns red and her card is rejected. Her water credits have run out.''

The above is a scenario from “The Way of Water” by Canadian novelist Nina Munteanu and it's one of many contained in the recently published anthology of short stories titled: ''Cli-Fi: Canadian Tales of Climate Change." The 17 stories in this book, edited by Bruce Meyer, examine how humankind might struggle with the potential devastation of climate change in the near or distant future.

Soon after a friend finished reading the book, Cape Town in South Africa, known in precolonial times as “the place where clouds gather” -- announced that it was only a few months away from what it called “Day Zero,” the day the city would officially run out of water, making the similarities between fiction and reality more than unsettling, my friend said in his introduction to the anthology.

Munteanu’s story is set in a futuristic Canada that has been mined of all its water by thirsty corporations who have taken over control of the resource. Rain has not fallen on Canadian soil in years due to advances in geoengineering and weather manipulation preventing rain clouds from going anywhere north of the Canada-US border.

''Canadian Tales of Climate Change'' is a great introduction to the emerging and growing genre of Cli-Fi, an abbreviated term for Climate Fiction. Literary critics call on writers to use their creative passion to engage readers on the potential disasters of climate change and these 17 Canadian writers have answered the call, according to editor Bruce Meyer Their stories span several genres, including speculative fiction, realism, and more.

Back in the USA, a new monthly column called "Burning Worlds" is dedicated to examining important trends in climate change fiction, or “cli-fi.”

Writes the columnist: "For years, authors have been writing climate change fiction, or “cli-fi,” a genre of literature that imagines the past, present, and future effects of climate change. Their work crosses literary boundaries in terms of style and content, landing on shelves marked “sci-fi” and “literary fiction.” Perhaps you’ve read one of the classics: Margaret Atwood’s 'Oryx and Crake' or Kim Stanley Robinson’s' Forty Signs of Rain.' Then there’s Ian McEwan’s 'Solar' and J. G. Ballard’s 1965 novel 'The Burning World', from which [my] column derives its name. Each of these novels -- like others in the genre -- help us to 'see' possible futures lived out on a burning, drowning, or dying planet.''

"Burning Worlds” perhaps will one day also appear in the New York Times, although maybe under a different title. One never knows. For now the column  features interviews, reviews, and analyses of the cli-fi genre with the hope of generating a larger conversation about climate change and why imagined depictions of the phenomenon are vital to the literary community -- and beyond.

Here is an interview with a climate activist and journalist who coined the term “cli-fi” (read more about him in this interview with Literary Hub).

The 70-something literary theorist founded and maintains The Cli-Fi Report, the web’s most comprehensive site dedicated to cli-fi. A tireless crusader for the genre and a self-proclaimed “cli-fi missionary, ” in this interview, he discusses what inspired his passion for climate change fiction, why he thinks the term “cli-fi” caught on, and what he recommends we all read next.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The New York Times buries its head in the Manhattan sand and refuses to review 'cli-fi' novels; prefers escapist, cultish sci-fi novels only. THIS MUST CHANGE! See oped here:

The New York Times buries its head in the Manhattan sand and refuses to review 'cli-fi' novels; prefers escapist, cultish sci-fi novels only

by Dan Bloom at the Cli-Fi Report, 


Yes, it's true, The New York Times buries its editorial head in the sand and refuses to review 'cli-fi' novels, preferring to hire a sci-fi writer to review sci-fi books on a monthly basis in a special column by Amal El-Mohtar titled "Otherworldly."  

Strange and uncanny and part of what literary critic Amitav Ghosh has called ''The Great Derangement'' that the New York Times book review section editor Pamela Paul and its Climate Desk editor Hannah Fairfield refuse to review cli-fi novels ''as'' cli-fi novels or profile cli-fi novelists ''as'' cli-fi novelists.

Who is sci-fi expert Amal El-Mohtar? She won the Nebula, Locus and Hugo awards for her short story “Seasons of Glass and Iron.” Her novella “This Is How You Lose the Time War,” written with Max Gladstone, will be published in 2019. She's a very good writer and an excellent book reviewer. She deserves some company on the New York Times book pages, however, and that would be a qualified cli-fi book reviewer as well. Sci-fi isn't the only game in town, boys and girls.

But instead, the Times buries its head in the sand in this Age of the Anthropocene when everyone from James Hansen to Michael Mann to Naomi Oreskes to Naomi Klein to Margaret Atwood are trying to warn the public that unchecked runaway global warming will lead to global disasters in the distant future and might even lead to the end of the human race. 

But what does the New York Times do when it comes to reviewing cli-fi novels and even to reply to my emails and tweets about its irrational editorial behavior? It buries its head in the sands of Manhattan, goes gung-ho over SFF and sci-fi and fantasy escapist novels and does not publish one word about cli-finovels or cli-fi novelists. It seems the Times is hooked on the cult of sci-fi and refuses to hire a book review to write a monthly cli-fi review column titled perhaps "This Wordly." 

If the Times can afford an editorial budget that allows for the hiring of an Amal El-Mohtar to review SFF novels, surely it has the resources to hire a reviewer for a monthly cli-fi book review column.

It's not 1953 anymore, Pamela Paul. It's not 1993 anymore, Hannah Fairfield. It's not 2005 anymore, dear New York Times. It's 2018 and soon it will be 2019 and then the 2020s and the 2030s and the 2040s, and will the Times still be refusing to hire a literary critic to review the many cli-fi novels being published then? 

It's time now for the Times to wake up and do what must be done: hire someone like Amal El-Mohtar (but with a background in cli-fi novels as either a literary critic or a novelist herself) to start a monthly cli-fi book review column. And yes, I like that title for the column: "This Worldly."

What do you say, New York Times? It's time to face reality and stop your escapist and cultish sci-fi fandom in your book reviews, The world is at the brink of something unspeakable and beyond tragic, and yet all the Times does is twiddle its posh Manhattan fingers and go gaga over sci-fi while ignoring the most important new literary genre of the 21st century: cli-fi.

It doesn't have to be this way. The New York Times newsroom could wake up. It's not to late to serve your readers better, Dean Baquet. Sure, keep the monthly SFF review column for your readers who prefer escapism and entertainment. But please do add a monthly cli-fi review column. James Hansen, for one, will applaud you.

Friday, June 22, 2018

''In the Year 2525'': A cli-fi short story by James Hansen written in 2009. HANSEN tries his hand at a sci-fi cli-fi short story and WOW! READ IT. #CLiFi

 ''In the Year 2525'': A cli-fi short story by James Hansen written in 2009. HANSEN tries his hand at a sci-fi cli-fi short story and WOW! READ IT. #CLiFi

''Cli-Fi Plus'': A #ClimateFiction Anthology of cli-fi short stories edited by Treesong.

Treesong tells me today:

''Cli-Fi Plus'': A #ClimateFiction Anthology of cli-fi short stories edited by Treesong. Pub  Date: August 1, 2018. Pre-order Amazon today! #ShortStories #Anthology #Climate #CliFi


ATTN .@treesong BRAVO!

"Woke Mom" launches a very woke mom YouTube series reading out loud daily headlines from The Drudge Report and commenting on them in her own informal, chatty, personalized way. Check it out! She's a rising new YouTube star, but in a low-key ''down to earth'' down home way!

"Woke Mom" launches a very woke mom YouTube series reading out loud daily headlines from The Drudge Report and commenting on them in her own informal, chatty, personalized way.

Check it out! 

"Woke Mom" is a rising new YouTube star, but in a low-key ''down to earth'' down home way!

See her platform here, with most of her commentaries, with visuals of the actual Drudge Report page on her video and her own take on the headlines that grab here in one way or the other.

Woke Mom 


Drudge Report Headlines With Commentary


Drudge Report Breaking News Update- Supreme Court Ruling

And MORE TO FOLLOW, perhaps 5 days a week. Once a day.