Tuesday, December 13, 2016

In the Age of Trump, more writers are picking up pen to try their hands at ''cli-fi'' and ''sci-fi'' novels as acts of resistance and striking back at Trump's lies about climate truths

In the Age of Trump, more writers are picking up pen to try their hands at ''cli-fi'' and ''sci-fi'' novels as acts of resistance and striking back at Trump's lies about climate truths

by staff writer

These are dark days, post-elections, no doubt about it. Which makes it extra nice to see cool people doing rad things with cli-fi.

Take for example the number of people, from Australia to the USA to the UK and Canada, in this troubling Age of Trump, who are picking up their pens to try their hands at ''cli-fi'' and ''sci-fi'' novels as acts of resistance and striking back at Trump's lies about climate truths.

Daily now, this blog is logging in emails and tweets and FB posts from writers around the world about how they intend to resist the Trump Years (2017 - 2021 and maybe as far as 2017 - 2025) by sitting down and writing cli-fi novels and movie scripts on spec and spending time getting their work published, screened and noticed.

A writer told this blog: "Okay we lost. Trump won. But we cannot sit back and let him get away with his lies about global warming. So I predict dozens of writers, novelists, will join the cli-fi movement, which is of course a subgenre of sci-fi, and publish some very important cli-fi novels these next 4 years as acts of resistance."

A novelist told us: "We need to resist Trump and his crowd with all our strength and emotions as writers of novels, be they sci fi or cli fi or spec fic. The next four years will be pivotal. I am working now on a cli-fi novel with the help of my NYC agent and we are aiming for for 2020 pub date."

One writer told us: ''Thanks for reaching out. I am trying to write the most poignant,
impossible-to-put-down novel possible, in a post-apocalyptic
climate-changed world, and I believe I am succeeding at it, even
though the book is less than half-way completed.

''I grew up with hard SF (Asimov, Niven, Clarke, and Brin, among
others), but I went for a Masters in English and read things like
Shakespeare, Steinbeck, Tolstoy, etc., for fun, so I consider myself
rather well read outside of SF as well.

''My cli-fi novels starts fast, grabs the reader by the heartstrings immediately, and doesn't let go, while being very romantic with a strong up-beat ending.''

Science Ficntion Novelist Jeff Vandermeer noted on his FB feed the other day:

''When I say, at global warming conferences, or on panels, "we may only have 30 years before things get really bad" a certain number of people push back against that, saying "no, that's not going to happen." But without any evidence to support that assertion. And I'm beginning to think that even though these folks say they believe in global warming, they really don't. They're really global warming deniers, to dismiss the probability. The other thing I'm seeing is people who jump on the environmental bandwagon to promote whatever their pet cause is...but who clearly don't give two shits about the environment. So I'm taking a harder line on all of this going forward.''

When someone asked Jeff what he meant by "taking a harder line on all this going forward, he replied:

 ''Oh - - well, first of all addressing some of this in the book on storytelling and global warming that I'm writing -- and challenging that on panels and re other events.  [He is hoping to finish that global warming book by the end of 2017.] He added: "I'm still working on a post about activism because I want to get it right."] But I'm still spending the next month thinking through every aspect of what I plan to say and do on these issues.''

A climate fiction/science fiction novelist in Australia replied: ''I try to focus on the possibilities for change, partly because I feel we disempower ourselves by giving into despair, but I increasingly find myself wondering whether that isn't simply a form of denial. Because the reality is so horrific it's difficult to believe we could turn it around even if we wanted to (and the reality is most people don't).''

Said another commenter: "Speaking of Australia, one of the best but largely forgotten fictional near-future books on the potential effects of global warming and sea level rises was the rather prescient "The Sea and Summer" (1987), set in Australia, and written by George Turner (an Australian author), published in the US as "Drowning Towers" (1988)
To which an Australian with a new cli-fi novel comiong out soon replied: "O yeah, read that one. Horribly, horribly prescient."
Another commenter added: "30 years is generous. I suppose it's a question of what 'really bad' is."

And JVM added: ''Honestly, the odds are that we're all already dead. I mean, I don't want to be too depressing, but to me the choices we make in fighting now are not about us surviving but about the planet and about our grandchildren possibly surviving. And because it's the only ethical and moral thing to do.''
In an OpEd by Edward Rubin at Vanderbilt University, titled ''Donald Trump and the End of the American Century'' political science professor
and novelist ("The Heatstroke Line") says: "With his remarkable talent for turning his weaknesses into strengths by bald-faced denial ("No one respects women more than I do"), Donald Trump centered his presidential campaign on the slogan "Make America Great Again." 

In fact, every policy that he announced, and every message that his candidacy transmitted, signals the end of America's leading position in the world. 

We are entering a new era as a result of Trump's election, an era where we will be merely one of four or five contesting powers.

....The American Century has come to an end with the election of Mr. Trump.

 It isn't easy to maintain a position of leadership.  First, it demands that a nation generate rulers (one way or another) who command the respect of other nations.

Trump, who won by giving voters a chance to indulge their disaffection and xenophobia, is regarded as either a contemptible buffoon or a dangerous egomaniac throughout the world.   


...At the COP21 conference in Paris, representatives of the 173 other signatory nations focused their discussion on strategies for circumventing the U.S. Congress.  Trump has now declared climate change denial to be official U.S. policy.  The reaction will be universal resentment and dismay. 

People will not compare him to Hitler, although Trump may ultimately be responsible for as many deaths.  Climate change itself will be the killer; Trump will more likely be seen as another Neville Chamberlain, whose willful ignorance and blatant cowardice in the face of danger led inevitably to disaster.


...The American Century is over, courtesy of Donald Trump.''



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