Here is a sometimes-cited specimen of cli-fi: the famous UK comedian and writer Ben Elton’s 1993 satire This Other Eden, in which panic over an imminent ecological collapse sends humanity scurrying into bunkers, sealing the doors (to guard against marauding gangs) for 40 years. When, finally, they emerge blinking into the daylight, they find that the catastrophe did not take place – and in their absence the Earth has made a remarkable recovery. Songbirds trill in the branches, honeybees buzz between flowerheads weighed down by velveteen petals, clouds scud calmly across a clear sky.
Their self-interest has, unintentionally, revealed the route forward. The panic is over, the planet as good as new, and they can appreciate their good fortune afresh. It is a redemption story, of sorts.
This Other Eden (novel)
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