Wednesday, February 28, 2018

De opmars van SF en 'cli-fi': wat als science fiction akelig dichtbij komt? -- by Catherine Ongenae and Oscar van Gelderen

De opmars van SF en 'cli-fi': 

wat als science fiction 

akelig dichtbij komt?

'Dystopische' fictie doet mensen 
steeds meer nadenken 
over de gevolgen van vooruitgang
 Catherine Ongenae
see also The Cli-Fi Report at

The advance of SF and cli-fi':
what if science fiction
fiendishly close?
'Dystopische' fiction,and more....

more people to think

about the consequences of Progress

27-02-18, 17.0 6u - Catherine Ongenae
see also The Cli-Fi Report at

in the film world are science fiction and fantasy the most popular genres, but who among those stamp, a book publishes
literary suicide. 
Time for a re-branding?
Mr. Oscar van Gelderen, 
publisher at Lebowski, 
believes that it is.
'The reader is ripe for visionary literature.'
"I was not a fan of the SF-genre", says Oscar van
Gelderen. "Aliens, space ships,
the struggle between good and evil: it seemed to
me to be INFANTILE and clichéd. The covers of the
books are also so extremely ugly.
But a few years ago I visited in New York
Andrew Wylie, the literary agent of Dave Eggers,
Salman Rushdie and Orhan Pamuk. 'You should do Philip K. Dick kind
publishing," he said.
 'I don't think so," I replied. 'I think those are terrible books.'

In de filmwereld zijn sciencefiction en fantasy de populairste genres, maar wie onder die stempel een boek publiceert, 
pleegt literaire zelfmoord. Tijd voor een re-branding? 
Oscar van Gelderen, uitgever bij Lebowski, meent van wel. 
‘De lezer is rijp voor visionaire literatuur.’
“Ik was zelf ook geen fan van het sf-genre”, bekent Oscar van 
Gelderen. “Marsmannetjes, ruimteschepen, 
de strijd tussen goed en kwaad: het leek 
me infantiel en clichématig. De covers van die 
boeken zijn ook zo extreem lelijk. 
Maar een paar jaar geleden bezocht ik in New York 
Andrew Wylie, de literair agent van Dave Eggers,
 Salman Rushdie en Orhan Pamuk. ‘Jij gaat Philip K. Dick 
uitgeven’, zei hij. ‘Ik dacht het niet’, antwoordde ik. ‘Ik vind dat verschrikkelijke boeken.’

We Need Cli-Fi Videogames That Are as Intelligent and Smart as ''Annihilation'' the novel and the movie!

A blogger somewhere in the Milky Way Galaxy writes:
[edited for amplification]
When I left the theater after watching the movie Annihilation, I was thinking about what good storytelling  does. Anyone who has read the first book of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, which the film was loosely adapted from, will tell you that the film is drastically different from the novel. Despite the film’s commitment to some pretty heady concepts, the book’s range is even wider, and any given reader-then-watcher would probably tell you that the choices that the film makes to pare the book down into something more filmlike was a work of necessity (whether they like that paring down or not). In thinking about the big ideas of climate fiction, I started thinking about videogames. And I wondered why videogames don’t have their cli-fi versions of Annihilation. They should. I hope in the future we will see them.
The best cli-fi stories work constantly troubles what we think we know. By extrapolating our current society into the future or by introducing a new, unknown thing that changes human life, climate fiction often makes us strange to ourselves. It can function as a kind of bizarre mirror that makes us see our actions in relief, contextualized, and we can use that reflection as a way of getting a handle on what we’re doing.
Without spoiling anything, I feel confident in saying that Annihilation asks us to interrogate what makes us us, and more importantly, if we can deal with any significant alterations to our identities and subjectivities. Politically, we are living during a time when a number of major democracies are swinging rightward and implementing nationalist, far-right policies of social control. Global warming is getting worse faster than we had anticipated, threatening drought, rising sea levels, and the destruction of inhabited land all over the planet. Racist policies of social and economic exclusion continue to exist and be enforced in even the most “enlightened” countries. Shit is bad, and getting worse, and the way that we live our lives is going to fundamentally change in the coming years. We’re living in the middle of it now, and it’s slow, but it’s happening.
And Annihilation stages this as a kind of metaphysical, pseudo-scientific set of questions about what makes me me or you you or a plant itself. It puts these question into the familiar format of CGI special effects and horror film violence and close-up shots of intriguing dialogue being spoken to the camera as much as to the other characters. But it’s hard to walk away from the film and not understand that it was less about what you saw onscreen and more about the ideas that you’re taking away from the argument that those images are making. No one speaks the moral of the story, but when the film closes out, it’s been communicated to an almost-excruciating degree.
I don’t know where this is in our videogames. I’ve heard so much about the storytelling power of games to change the world, but I haven’t played many things that have made me feel changed. Climate fiction videogames seem to still be largely stuck in nowheresville.

When I watched Annihilation, I was thinking about how wonderfully cinema was being used to communicate how small, how strange, and how contingent our lives are as a species. It made me consider me. And here I am, supposedly living in the middle of a ludic century where games are going to take hold of creativity and possibility, and the best I can do in the realm of future thinking is the occasional cyberpunk tactical game or mind-bending roguelike. Give me our cli-fi Annihilation game. I’m ready for it.

​​Odabrani najbolji radovi za zbirku ''Homo Climaticum'' - FROM SERBIA cli-fi community


Odabrani najbolji radovi za zbirku Homo Climaticum

Energetski Portal-12 小時前
Zadruga Zelena akcija odabrala je 24 rada koji će ući u ovogodišnju zbirku Homo climaticum. Među njima odabrano je i pet radova koji će dobiti popratnu ilustraciju u knjizi i koji ulaze u konkurenciju za glavnu nagradu. Kako je saopšteno, 16. marta 2018. godine biće predstavljena knjiga Homo Climaticum ...

Selected best works for the Homo Climaticum collection

Energy Portal

The Green Action Cooperative has selected 24 papers to be included in this year's Homo Climaticum collection. Among them were selected five works that will get an accompanying illustration in the book and enter into the competition for the main prize. As announced on March 16, 2018, Homo Climaticum will be presented.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

La MaMa is Presenting ''EXTREME WHETHER'' this month of March 2018

La MaMa is Presenting  ''EXTREME WHETHER'' this month of March 

March 1-18

REVIEWS  FORTHCOMING.....from the NYTimes Drama Desk, Amy Brady, Michael Svoboda, etc

A Cli-Fi Play By Karen Malpede

La MaMa Presents EXTREME WHETHER, A Cli-Fi Play By Karen MalpedeFrom March 1 to 18, La MaMa is presenting Theater Three Collaborative in a new production of "Extreme Whether," a "Cli-Fi" play written and directed by Karen Malpede. The piece juxtaposes psychological and magical realism in a tale of a courageous climate researcher who is defamed by special interests, including his own family. Obie-winner Rocco Sisto heads a cast of six.

Set during the record-hot summers of 2004 and 2012, the play pits a scientist named John Bjornson (Rocco Sisto) against his twin sister, Jeanne (Dee Pelletier), in a no-holds barred struggle over land ownership and the future use of their family's wilderness estate. The sister is an energy spokeswoman and is married to a climate-skeptic lobbyist (Khris Lewin), who helps strategize her actions. The siblings' dispute reveals the fault lines in America today over land usage, global warming and climate denial. Supporting John's struggle for the land are three people. One is the caretaker of the estate, an oracular, Thoreau-like man named Uncle (Obie-winnerGeorge Bartenieff). The others are John's precocious 13-year old intersex daughter (Emma Rose Kraus) and a young ice scientist with an important new theory (Clea Straus Rivera).

"Extreme Whether" was developed by Theater Three Collaborative, in a series of readings and workshops at The Cherry Lane Theater, Columbia University, the NY Horticulture Society and Theater for New City in 2013-14 and was subsequently performed in Paris, as a part of ARTCOP, the series of arts events surrounding the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21). There were three presentations in Paris that year, one in the French translation of the play, and two in English, organized jointly by Theater Three Collaborative and Cie De Facto, a rising French-Swiss theater company with the support of the Rockefeller Bros and Prospect Hill Foundations, and in conjunction with Le Pave d'Orsay and Les Fondation des Etats-Unis. The artists of "Extreme Whether" were in the company of hundreds of arts and activist groups from many nations and continents, including indigenous peoples and representatives from island nations. All were there to publicly appeal for holding global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as opposed to the original proposal of 2 degrees. When the climate accord, signed by 198 nations, ultimately ratified the more ambitious goal, it was enormously encouraging to these citizen-and-artist-activists. The play's growing reputation led to readings in India and Denmark as well as U.S. readings in Tennessee and Oklahoma. The Oklahoma reading led to the casting of Emma Rose Kraus, a Tulsa actress, for the La MaMa production as John's precocious 13-year old daughter, who raises a frog which has been mutated by exposure to the herbicide Atrazine.

The producers feel that, as opposed to 2014, when climate change was more "theoretically" foreseen, "Extreme Whether" is now a play whose time has come. "The play is no longer bringing the news," says playwright Malpede, "it is only reflecting it."

Playwright Karen Malpede is known for fearlessly addressing urgent issues in every play, from genetic engineering (in "Better People") to the U.S. torture program (in "Another Life"). She views Global Warming and its facilitator, Climate Denial, as paramount issues and admires the courage of scientists to speak out and guide us. To bring these issues to the stage, she adopted the Ibsenist paradigm (seen in "An Enemy of the People" and "Rosmerholm") of setting struggles of the public interest as conflicts within a family. She considers that in many ways, the play is a psychological drama of a dichotomy among American people. On one side are those who believe that the science of climate change should drive public policy. On the other side, we see those who believe that fossil fuel extraction should continue to drive the economy and are viciously defensive. In their view, if climate change is taken seriously, free market economics will be threatened. Both positions resonate in the psychological reality of the characters.

The characters and plot of "Extreme Whether" are informed by the books, lives and research of several contemporary scientists. The character of John Bjornson is largely based on Dr. James Hansen, the NASA scientist who testified to congress in 1988 that global warming had begun. Other influences are the life and work of Dr. Michael Mann, author of "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars"; Dr. Jennifer Francis, a researcher on the rapidly melting Arctic ice and its effect on the elongation of the Jet Stream; and Dr. Tyrone Hayes, a researcher on the effects of the herbicide Atrazine. For further information on these sources, please see these author's notes by Karen

In the play such extreme weather as we are new experiencing, such as this January's long cold snap, is explained. Because of the melting of the Arctic, the Jet Stream becomes weakened, elongated and stuck, so extreme heat, cold, rains and drought tend to hover longer than usual. This is the theory of John's protégé, the young ice scientist named Rebecca. Her idea is so threatening that her academic integrity is impugned and she is blackmailed and sexually shamed by John's sister and her husband. Her theory was originally advanced by Jennifer Francis, one of the scientists whose research contributed to the play.

This production of "Extreme Whether" reflects La MaMa's commitment to artists who address issues of climate and sustainability. Addressing a symposium on Theater & Resistance at CUNY's Segal Center on January 12, 2018 La MaMa's Artistic Director, Mia Yoo, affirmed affirmed the theater's intention to create public discourse on these issues and to provide a platform for artists to express their social bravery. She also emphasized La MaMa's pioneering efforts to connect artists here and abroad on related issues through its Culture Hub project. In 2014, La MaMa designated its entire season "La MaMa Earth."

Set Design is by Gian Marco Lo Forte. Lighting Design is by Tony Giovannetti. Costume Design is by Sally Ann Parsons and Carisa Kelly. Music and Sound Design are by Arthur Rosen.

Karen Malpede (playwright, director) is author/director of 19 plays including, most recently "Dinner During Yemen," a playlet written for Kathleen Chalfant for an Evening for the People of Yemen at the Brooklyn Commons in January, and a futuristic drama for the Anthropocene "Other than We", which received its first public reading at the Segal Theatre, CUNY Graduate Center, in December, during a day-long celebration of twenty-two years of Malpede's Theater Three Collaborative and publication of her new book. Other plays include: "Sappho & Aphrodite" (Arts at St. Ann's, Perry St. Theater, Oval House, London; Cleveland Public Theater); "Us," (Theater for the New City, Lusty Juveniles, UK; ShowWorld, Here), "Iraq: Speaking of War," a docu-drama (Prozansky Theatre, Culture Project), "Another Life" (National Theatre of Kosovo, Gerald W. Lynch Theater, Irondale, Theater for the New City, RADA Festival, London), "The Beekeeper's Daughter" (Dionysia Festival, Italy, Theater Row Theater, TNC), "Prophecy" (NY Theatre Workshop, New End Theatre, London). "Extreme Whether" has just been published, with a foreword by Marvin Carlson and afterwords by Alexander M. Schultz and Cindy Rosenthal, in her new four-play volume, "Plays in Time: The Beekeeper's Daughter, Prophecy, Another Life, Extreme Whether" (Intellect, 2017). She is author of "A Monster Has Stolen the Sun and Other Plays," editor of "Acts of War: Iraq & Afghanistan in Seven Plays," "Women in Theater: Compassion & Hope" and "Three Works by the Open Theater." She has published drama, essays and short fiction in The Kenyon Review, TriQuarterly, Confrontation, Healing Muse, Dark Matter and elsewhere. Her writings on theater have appeared in The New York Times, TDR, Torture Magazine, New Theatre Quarterly, Howelround, and elsewhere. A McKnight National Playwrights' and NYFA fellow, she co-founded Theater Three Collaborative in 1995. She has taught at Smith College, New York University and the CUNY-Graduate Center's Continuing Education program. Currently, she is on the theater and environmental justice faculties at John Jay College of Criminal Justice-CUNY. Her MFA is from Columbia University.

Rocco Sisto (John Bjornson), an Obie-winner for sustained excellence, was last seen Off-Broadway in "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein." Other credits include Playwrights Horizons: "Demonology" at Playwrights Horizons and Broadway's "The King and I," "To Be or Not to Be," "Amadeus" and "Seminar." His Off-Broadway credits include "Old Fashioned Prostitutes," "The Bacchae," "The Winter's Tale" (Obie Award), "Macbeth" (The Public),"Quills" (Obie Award, Drama Desk nomination), "Kaos" (NYTW), "Tis Pity She's a Whore," "Loot," "Volpone" (Red Bull Theater), "Measure For Measure," "Souls of Naples" (TFANA), "Iphinigia 2.0," "Harlequin Studies" (Signature). His films include "Donnie Brasco," "Frequency," "Eraser" and "Carlito's Way." On TV, he has been seen in "Bluebloods," "Law & Order(s)," "The Sopranos," "CSI," "Star Trek T.N.G." and more.

George Bartenieff (Uncle) began his theater career at the age of 14 in "The Whole World Over," directed by Harold Clurman. He has acted on Broadway ("Merchant of Venice," "Fiddler on the Roof"), Off and Off-off, at the NYSF, and regional theaters in hundreds of new and classic plays. He was co-founder of Theater for the New City and co-founder of the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. He and Karen Malpede adapted for the stage the diaries of Victor Klemperer, "I Will Bear Witness," as a one-person play that played to acclaim in New York, London, Berlin, Washington DC and toured Europe and the U.S. for three years. He is winner of four Village Voice Obie awards, including Sustained Achievement and acting awards for his performances in Malpede's "Us" and "I Will Bear Witness," a Drama Desk award for the ensemble acting in David Hare's "Stuff Happens" and a Philly as Best Actor for "Tuesday's With Morrie" at the Wilmington Repertory Co. In 1995, he, Malpede and the late Lee Nagrin co-founded Theater Three Collaborative.

Dee Pelletier (Jeanne, John's sister) appeared on Broadway in "August, Osage County." She has appeared Off-Broadway in "Women Without Men," "The Soap Myth," Bug," "Speaking in Tongues," "The Erotica Project," "The Seven Deadly Sins" (dir. Anne Bogart), "Stonewall Jackson;s House" and "The Broken Jug." She has appeared regionally at Geva Theatre, Denver Center Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Shakespeare Theatre of D.C., Delaware Theatre Co., Yale Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Indiana Rep, Merrimack Rep and Trinity Rep, among others. She is also active in film and TV.

Khris Lewin (Frank, John's brother-in-law) just closed "Personnel Best" by Pete Holmberg at the Secret Theatre (Roust Theatre Company). Other NYC: Horatio in "Boris Akunin's Hamlet, A Version" (Red Lab/Roust) and "Private Life of the Master Race" (Roust); "Gorilla" (SATC), "Oliver!" (Harbor Lights), "Richard II" (Fight or Flight/Sonnet Rep), "Fêtes de la Nuit" (Ohio Theatre). Regional: "My One And Only," "Something's Afoot" (Goodspeed), "The Music Man" (Ogunquit Playhouse), "Knock! Knock!" (Vineyard Playhouse), "A Steady Rain," title role in "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol" (Marin Theatre Company), title roles in "Cyrano de Bergerac," "Hamlet," "Antonio's Revenge" (TheatreWorks), title role in "Macbeth" (Nebraska Shakespeare). He has also appeared on NPR's "Selected Shorts" and "Bloomsday on Broadway" at Symphony Space. He is a professor at Baruch College.

Clea Rivera (Rebecca, the ice scientist) premiered two solo shows, "Food Of Life" and "No Vacancy," at La MaMa as part of its Poetry Electric series. She has performed extensively in regional theater including roles in "Blood Wedding" (Missouri Rep), "Cloud Tectonics" (Merrimack Rep), "Anna In The Tropics" (Capital Rep), and "Romeo And Juliet" (Denver Center Theatre and Shakespeare and Company). New York City credits include theWomen's Project world premiere of Maria Irene Fornes' "The Summer In Gossensass," several seasons with Ralph Lee's Mettawee River Theatre Company, and Jaded Eyes Arts Collective's production of "The Fox," which she also co-produced. She played the title role in the independent short film, "Charlie," which was an official selection of the New Orleans Film Festival.

Emma Rose Kraus (Annie, John's daughter) was born in Tulsa, OK and began acting at age nine with the roles of Woodstock in "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" and Lucy in "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." As a child, Kraus always loved nature and spent many holidays playing outside with the animals on her grandparents' farm in Kansas and, when she was older, learning to ride horses from her uncle. She now hopes to use her position as an actor to continue to advocate for the environment through performance. She is currently enrolled as a student at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha, OK and will graduate this spring with a degree in theater arts and emphases in cultural studies and performance styles. Notable past roles include the Red Head in "The Love Talker", Ginny in "Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche", and Cassandra in "Hecuba." This is her New York debut.
An integral part of New York City's cultural landscape, La MaMa has a worldwide reputation for producing daring work in theater, dance, performance art, and music that defies form and transcends boundaries of language, race, and culture. Founded in 1961 by theater pioneer and legend Ellen Stewart, La MaMa is a global organization with creative partners and dedicated audiences around the world. La MaMa presents an average of 60-70 productions annually, most of which are world premieres. To date, over 3,500 productions have been presented at La MaMa with artists from more than 70 nations.

La MaMa's 56th season highlights artists of different generations, gender identities, and cultural backgrounds, who question social mores and confront stereotypes, corruption, bigotry, racism, and xenophobia in their work. Its stages embrace diversity in every form and present artists that persevere with bold self-expression despite social, economic, and political struggle and the 56th season reflects the urgency of reaffirming human interconnectedness.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Slaff

“Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach” by Kelly Robson

“Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach” by Kelly Robson,  176 pages, 
In Kelly Robson's grim-cli-fi but fascinating 23rd century, humanity has just begun to recolonize the surface after having been driven underground by massive deadly pandemics and catastrophic climate change. One of those working to develop footholds is an environmental scientist named Minh, a rather cranky middle-aged woman with prosthetic tentacles instead of legs, the result of one of those diseases. But some things haven't changed: Funding for scientific projects still depends on grant applications, unrealistic deadlines and bureaucracy; to make matters worse, most of this funding is drained off by the glamorous recent discovery of time travel.
So Minh jumps at the opportunity to use time travel to help restore the environment and assembles a team to visit Mesopotamia in 2024 B.C. to study a river system almost undisturbed by human action, the Tigris and Euphrates valley. But there they have to contend with Shulgi, the Mesopotamian king, to whom they appear as the gods or monsters of the title (the Lucky Peach is the name of their time machine).
Robson, who has garnered major award nominations in a career of only a few years, builds both her future and ancient worlds with convincing detail for such a short novel, populating them with characters who are believable and engrossing, even when they have tentacles. It's likely to be one of the most impressive debut novels of the year. Time travel can be part of cli-fi, too.

'Pride and Prometheus,' a Frankenstein mash-up, is a new cli-fi novel

This little planet' falling through space is ripe for 'cli-fi' novels in the next 100 years, and for Hollywood movies as well.

'Pride and Prometheus,' a Frankenstein mash-up, is a new cli-fi novel

by John Kessel, from Saga Books,  384 pages
2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's cli-fi novel “Frankenstein,” so we can expect a flurry of tributes, almost inevitably focusing on the iconic monster rather than the actual cli-fi. Fortunately, John Kessel treats Shelley's story with great respect, while introducing characters from another classic published only 5 years earlier — Jane Austen's “Pride and Prejudice.” That might sound like the formula for a lightweight mash-up, but Kessel, though not lacking in wit, is more interested in how the themes of these very different novels resonate with each other.
In Shelley’s novel, Victor Frankenstein and his friend Henry Clerval flee to England and Scotland after his creature demands the creation of a mate. In Kessel's version, there they meet Mary Bennet, the studious but unattached Bennet sister from Austen's novel, who is portrayed as a budding amateur scientist, fascinated with Victor's ideas. The more famous Elizabeth and Darcy show up in supporting roles, but it's mostly Mary's story.
Needless to say, the creature has followed them, and soon the Bennet family becomes entwined in the Gothic melodrama of the Frankenstein saga, especially after a shocking grave-robbing incident that propels the novel into full thriller mode, with unexpected alliances, dangerous journeys and a suspenseful conclusion. The shifting viewpoints between Mary, Victor and the tragically conflicted creature help make this a nuanced novel of character. -- GW

'This little planet' falling through space is ripe for 'cli-fi' novels in the next 100 years, and for Hollywood movies as well

'This little planet' falling through space is ripe for cli-fi novels in the next 100 years, and for Hollywood movies as well. It's because we have only one planet we can call home, this little planet lost in space that in English we call the Earth. Other languages have other words for it: in Danish, jord; in Dutch, aarde; in Brazilian, terra' in French, terre; in German, erdwe; in Polish, ziemia.

And now, as novelists and movie directors contemplate the future of this little Earth of ours, a new literary genre has arisen and it's been dubbed "cli-fi" (short for ''climate fiction"). It's not science fiction, and it's not sci-fi. It's a new term and a new perspective: cli-fi.

So what is there to write about in the cli-fi genre? There's a lot to write about. Already, the Goodreads website has a list of some 200 cli-fi novels already published and being read and studied. An academic at the University of Oregon, Dr Stephanie LeMenager, is currently curating and archiving an even longer and more comprehensive list

Paratopias, dystopias, utopias, speculative fictions, science fictions. The 21st century will see many of these kinds of cli-fi novels arise in the next 80 years -- and beyond (into the 22nd century and beyond).
We aren't finished with cli-fi by a long shot. Hold on to your seats; we're in for a wild. wild ride over the next 30 generations of humankind. Not just your grandchildren, but your great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandchildren!

Think about these next few paragraphs below:

'This little planet' falling through space, only 24 people have ever seen the Earth from afar. I'm talking about the 24 Apollo astronauts who went to the moon and were safely returned to this ''third rock from the sun'' again. Only they have ever seen the Earth as if from the perspective of space. Only they have seen the Earth as a sphere falling through space. Nearly all of them were struck by how fragile the Earth is. From space the Earth’s atmosphere appears as a thin blue line around the circumference of the planet, a penumbra of a 50 miles clinging to an orb some 8,000 miles in diameter.

“It is a pity,” Mike Collins, one of the American astronauts once wrote, “that my eyes have seen more than my brain has been able to assimilate.”

Of all the astronauts who left Earth orbit, he came closest to describing in words the sense and the feeling of what he had experienced: “The moon is so scarred,” he wrote, “so desolate, so monotonous, that I cannot recall its tortured surface without thinking of the infinite variety the delightful planet earth offers: misty waterfalls, pine forests, rose gardens, blues and greens and reds and whites that are entirely missing on the gray-tan moon.”

On his way back home, he looked out of the window and tried to find the Earth:

"The little planet is so small out there in the vastness that at first I couldn’t even locate it," he wrote later. "And when I did, a tingling of awe spread over me. There it was, shining like a jewel in a black sky. I looked at it in wonderment, suddenly aware of how its uniqueness is stamped in every atom of my body . . . I looked away for a moment and, poof, it was gone. I couldn’t find it again without searching closely."
'At that point I made my discovery. Suddenly I knew what a tiny, fragile thing Earth is," Collins wrote.

So the cli-fi genre is calling you: perhaps as a reader, perhaps as a writer, perhaps as a literary critic, perhaps as an academic, perhaps as a Climate Desk reporter for the New York Times. Time is running out. And yet, we still have time to fix things. What role will you play?

Monday, February 26, 2018

Paratopian cli-fi: climate fiction novels set in the present or the very near future

Look, there's 8 billion of us now, human beings that is, and we're on track to add 5 billion more in the next 80 years. That'll bring us up to 12 billion people by the year 2100. Double that to 24 billion in some distant crowded future on Earth and guess where that's going to lead us: humanity, humankind, civilization?

Our goose is cooked, slowly being cooked, and the future's gonna get crowded, debased, morose and tragic. Are you aware of where we're headed? Ain't gonna be no pretty picture. Are you reading me? Do you follow?

But not all climate fiction, aka Cli-Fi has be morose and depressing and dystopian and tragic. Such novels and movies can also be paratopian, that is to say, cli-fi novels that are set in the present, or the very near future at least. Not dystopia but paratopia.

That's from the Greek word "para" for "near."

 I think we need some paratopian novels soon. And the sooner the better. There's work to do!

Does literature and cinema play a role on how we peceive the future of climate change impact events? You bet they do. Art has power. Novels and movies have impact. Emotional impact. EQ power.

So if you're planning on dipping your pen into a cli-fi novel in 2018 or 2019 or anytime in the 2020s, think about exploring a paratopia as your default mode.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Cli-fi novels reflect the climate-changing future, and they are the future

There are approximately 100 novelists at this very moment writing cli-fi novels featuring future characters and events involved with climate change impact issues. There are over 100 novels in the pipeline as we speak, although most of them won't see the light of day in a bookstore for another 10 -15 years as acquiring editors, literary agents, publishers and marketing departments work behind the scenes.

In addition, few of these cli-fi novels will scream "cli-fi novel" on the covers. In fact, most of these cli-fi novels in progress will be published as "literary fiction" or "science fiction" or just plain "novels." In other words: storytelling by storytellers. That's what literature is and always has been.

But yes, some of these cli-fi novels in the pipeline will  use the "cli-fi" nickname as part of their advertising and marketing campaigns. This is how cli-fi works.

The term itself need not be front and center or on the cover. Cli-fi novels are stealth novels, under the radar, working their magic in quiet, underground ways. You might even be reading one now. You might even be writing one now.

Or you might have a plan to start writing a cli-fi novel or movie script in the future, soon.

All this is as it should be. Cli-fi novels and movies are here to stay.

Want to join "the cli-fi movement"? Everyone is welcome. You, too!

By the way, ''Annihilation'' author Jeff VanderMeer has warmly and personally endorsed the rising new genre of ''cli-fi'' and in a recent in Q&A with Pacific Standard' magazine, he talked a bit about the rise of climate fiction as being a good thing.

When the interviewer asked: "Do you think science fiction and speculative fiction are particularly well equipped to address present environmental issues?"

Jeff VanderMeer replied: "I don't think it's a particular domain of science fiction. I think it's something where we all have areas where we default to foundational assumptions that we should be questioning. I have my own spots like that, I'm absolutely sure, but it's certainly not when it comes to animal behavior science and things like that.

''It's an issue for discussion because I think mainstream literary realism is just as well equipped. And I do want to push science fiction writers to think more about these issues because science fiction can also fall back on old defaults of plot and trope that are not useful to exploring these things. Sometimes you need new fictional modes. You hear the term cli-fi, for example, and I've heard some science fiction writers say, "Well, why do we need that when we have the term 'science fiction'?" Well, because it means climate fiction, and anyone can write climate fiction. It's not necessarily science fiction -- it's not necessarily set in the future! And the reason is that it's happening right now. Climate change is happening right now. The future is happening right now.

''I would also say that I'm seeing more and more mainstream literary writers writing in that space without necessarily writing science fiction. I think it's a good thing, and I think there needs to be more of a dialogue between "science fiction writers" and "mainstream literary writers" when there is that divide. I don't personally see that divide, I don't personally acknowledge it, and in my friendships and who I read I just don't really give a crap. But for those who feel like they're on one side of a divide or another, it can make communication difficult, and can make people not be in communication, and think that the "other side" is not actually dealing with issues that they are [dealing with] -- if you actually read the work.''

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Film critic Paige Lim profiles Taiwanese film director Hsaio Ya-chuan for his upcoming movie 'Father to Son'

Paige Lim profiles Taiwanese film director Hsaio Ya-chuan for his upcoming movie 'Father to Son'

Taipei Times feature story published February 24, 2018
(Bedok, Singapore)

''Like father, like son''

After an eight-year absence from the silver screen, 

Taiwanese filmmaker Hsiao Ya-chuan returns with 

his third feature, a sprawling intergenerational 

drama that explores the relationship 

between a father and son

By Paige Lim  /  Contributing reporter

Cast members Samuel Koo , Michael JQ Huang , Hsiao Ya-chuan and Aria Wang at the world premiere of Father to Son at recently-concluded International Film Festival Rotterdam.

photo courtesy of Hsiao Ya-chuan

Growing up, Taiwanese filmmaker Hsiao Ya-chuan (蕭雅全) shared a rocky relationship with his father. Solemn and overly frugal, his father was consumed with saving money, and faced difficulties communicating with his children, recalls the now 50-year-old.
“He was a very thrifty person because he grew up in very poor circumstances. But he didn’t know how to talk about his inner emotions, about his own sorrow and happiness, as though his entire life had been repressed by the lack of money,” Hsiao says.
Paige Lim Author Note and Photo:

Ms. Paige Lim has an undergraduate degree in Communication Studies from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where she majored in journalism. She has a strong passion for Asian cinema, and was a participant of the Campus at the 19th Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, as well as the Youth Jury & Critics Programme at the 28th Singapore International Film Festival this year. She was previously an intern correspondent at Reuterscovering business news, and has reported on lifestyle, arts and entertainment at The Straits Times, Singapore’s most widely read broadsheet newspaper. She has also contributed features and reviews on Asian filmmakers and film to online sites Asia Times and Eastern Kicks. During her last semester in university, Paige visited South Korea twice; once to report on the changing cultural and social landscape in Seoul after President Moon Jae-in’s election, and the second to attend the 22nd Busan International Film Festival, where she interviewed international programmers and filmmakers, and produced a multimedia feature on the festival’s Asian and Korean cinema programming.