Wednesday, November 6, 2019
"the rain circle" -- Aussie 'cli-fi' novel hits the right notes -- A NOVEL by Tony Clancy in Australia
Aussie 'cli-fi' novel hits the right notes
A novel by Australian writer Tony Clancy hits the right notes, according to the
creator of the term cli-fi, Dan Bloom.
‘Tony’s e-book, The Rain Circle, is a cli-fi that is timely, urgent and important,’
US-based Dan Bloom said this week. ‘It’s a riveting read, and the story will
stay with you long after you turn the last page.’
He is particularly impressed by the way the book contains key ideas of the
genre of climate change fiction, refraining from lecturing too much about the
truth of climate change or getting attention through fantasy or catastrophic
‘One of the key ideas of cli-fi is to highlight the power of potential change-
makers like scientists to make a difference, and Tony is well-placed to
comment having worked in the research communication sector,’ he said.
‘The rainmaking theory he describes may never work, but the point is to
imagine possibilities. Who would have thought Leonardo’s helicopter or Jules
Verne’s submarine would take off?
‘The Rain Circle has some of the same gravitas as Barbara Kingsolver’s 2012
cli-fi novel Flight Behaviour, yet will be enjoyable and interesting for any
‘In the end, cli-fi is a bit like a bridge going across literacy fiction and science
While Dan Bloom created the genre title cli-fi several years ago, it took a while
to catch on. It is now well-established and he manages The Cli-Fi Report, a
research tool for academics and media professionals to use for information-
gathering and reporting on climate change writing.
Tony Clancy said he had been influenced by Dan’s enthusiasm for bringing
the importance of global warming into everyday reading.
‘I just imagined it to be 2036 and global warming is affecting everyone, in
different ways,’ Tony said.
‘Finnish scientist Christian Laakonen begins the year without a job, while his
partner Inka has secured work in Australia. They find the heat intense in
Australia and witness a new landscape where farms that were once
productive carry hopeful For Sale signs on rusty gates. No-one wants to buy.
‘Farmer Brian Ellson, who has an interest in technology that makes food
production more efficient, is more positive than most about the future. By
year’s end he, and others like tuna fisherman Kris Pavic, will have helped do
something that makes the world stand up and realise the power of science.
They are part of the secret circle that will make rain, and leave inept, short-
term thinking, political leaders look foolish.
‘Actions on such a large scale, however, have a human dimension. People,
not technology alone, will make things happen in 2036, or at any time. So it
follows that contrasting views and the make-up of individuals come into play.
‘Enter the families of Inka, Christian, Brian and Brian’s friend, meteorologist
Bernadette. It is the son of Brian, the thoughtful Patrick, and daughter of
Bernadette, May, who carry our conscience through this story. Behind it all is
the power and single-mindedness of a woman determined to see things
through, Professor Hanni Neimenen.
‘Yes it is a cli-fi, and thanks Dan for commending me as a writer under this
label, yet every good story is essentially about people we see as being like us.
The Rain Circle is about our relationship with each other as well as our
relationship with Earth. As Jimmy Carter said, this little blue planet is the only
home we have.’
''The Rain Circle'' is a cli-fi novel that it timely, urgent, important. It's a rivetting read, a real page-turner and as for the science,
the method described is in the story is the realm of possibility. Having worked in the research and development communications sector, Tony Clancy knows the potential of science.
The Christian Laakkonen theory described in the novel may never work, but as the author says, nobody knows what future research will reveal. Just saying give ideas a chance. Who would have thought Leonardo's helicopter or Jules Verne's submarine would take off?
''The Rain Circle'' has some of the same gravitas and seriousness as Barbara Kingsolver's 2012 cli-fi novel ''Flight Behaviour'' or novels of other cli-fi writers who have imagined catastrophic events. Clancy, with this novel, never set out to imitate SFF (fantasy science fiction) and describe hell on Earth, nor did he want to lecture readers about the obvious. He as a novelist simply followed some key ideas the genre of ''climate fiction'' that encourage a new way of talking about climate change. In the end, cli-fi (the eye-catching nickname of climate fiction) is a bit like a bridge crossing ''literary fiction'' and ''science fiction,'' but a bridge more significant than the bits at each each end.
This is a novel that will stay with you long after you have turned the last page.
''The Rain Circle'' is not a long story and is principally about people. Set in 2036, when climate change has been hurting for too long, scientists and their supporters take matters into their own hands because governments are not doing enough. Relationships are tested and the whole idea of commitment at personal and higher levels is explored.
A team of dedicated editors and readers have helped make the book a better story than originally framed about 4 years ago. So it has had a long gestation!
The author's aim was to set a story and, without scenes of catastrophe or any lecturing, to encourage thoughts about what we should be doing. In this novel, a key message is to give science a chance to help make a difference.
Posted by DANIELBLOOM at 1:51 AM