Wednesday, September 27, 2017
NYTimesbot on why Times book reviewers and climate desk reporters are not allowed by their editors to use the "banned" cli-fi term in print even if the book is a cli-fi novel that the author himself/herself calls a cli-fi novel
The Madonna of Global Warming oversaw this interview from a Catholic church in northern France where the extremely weather-beaten limestone illustrates the threat of climate change worldwide, not only in the office of the New York Times in Manhattan, where big literary decisions are made.
This Timesbot cannot identify himself/herself at this junction in the culture wars going on inside the NYT although he/she/they/it joined The New York Times thinking they could report the truth. They later found out that the truth is what the Times says is the Truth and cli-fi be damned. Cli-Fi? What the heck in cli-fi? Read the light-hearted and lightly edited Q. and A. below.
Can you walk me through the process of reviewing a book?
Sure, if the novel is a cli-fi novel and it comes to us via the publisher identified as such, we throw it in the NOT TO BE REVIEWED pile under the ''THE CLI-FI TERM IS BANNED AT THE NEW YORK TIMES UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE'' punch card.
You recently were transitioned from editor and columnist to book reviewer and Climate Desk reporter. What has changed about your approach to covering cli-fi novels?
Well, to be blunt, I cannot cover cli-fi novels. The books editor has banned the use of the term cli-fi in her pages as long as she is editor here, and she has made that very clear. So while I can review climate-themed fiction (novels) I cannot use the cli-fi in the headline or the review.
The New York Times is the last daily print snailpaper in America with a free-standing books section. How does reviewing cli-fi novels for a VIP newspaper influence or inform your work?
To repeat: Well, to be blunt, I cannot cover cli-fi novels. The books editor has banned the use of the term cli-fi in her pages as long as she is editor here, and she has made that very clear. So while I can review climate-themed fiction (novels) I cannot use the cli-fi in the headline or the review.
Do you have any idea why the Times ran a very good interactive package on September 26 headlined ''Is Climate-Themed Fiction All Too Real? We Asked the Experts'' about seven cli-fi novels without ever once using the cli-fi term for any of the novels under review and without even giving readers a hot link to a cli-fi website or Wikipedia page.
Well, to be blunt, not only is is true that I cannot cover cli-fi novels or call them cli-fi novels, it is also true that at the Climate Desk I also do not have the freedom to speak the truth to Alaska and use the cli-fi term in climate-themed interactive packages. Alaska prefers that we refer to cli-fi novels under the euphimism [spellcheck] ''climate-themed fiction." As you know from my earlier answers above, the Brown-educated books editor has banned the use of the term cli-fi in her pages as long as she is editor here, (or so she said three years ago in an email) and she has made that very clear. So while I can review climate-themed fiction (novels) I cannot use the cli-fi in the headline or the review. And likewise, it appears that the editor of the Climate Desk prefers to cover-up reality by calling cli-fi novels as "climate-themed fiction." Go figure. Maybe things will change
See this here.
As a Timesbot, are you allowed to use the sci-fi term in book reviews or Climate Desk news articles and packages?
No, no. We cannot use the sci-fi term in the New York Times either. Both cli-fi and sci-fi have been banned, verboten. We were told that sci-fi is a term that was coined by L. Ron Hubbard the American SF pulp fiction writer and later a cult leader who started Scientology with a sci-fi novel series. So both cli-fi and sci-fi are banned from the print editions of the Times. Online it's another story, I have been told. You'd have to ask our IT people.
Posted by DANIELBLOOM at 11:06 PM