Friday, August 31, 2018

Cli-fi has arrived. Have you read any lately?

The publishing industry warms up to the cli-fi genre, as sci-fi writers get in on the stories, too


by  Dan Bloom, staff writer, with agencies

Cli-fi is not your grandfather’s sci-fi. It’s a new subgenre of sci-fi, very new, and in this summer of 2018, it’s on more and more people’s minds. Especially publishing people in London, New York and Sydney. Cli-fi novels have arrived.

Hollywood producers are snapping up film options for cli-fi novels now, and directors are lining up for the greenlight, a good cast, and compelling story to tell. Cli-fi movies won’t replace sci-fi movies, because sci-fi has its place in our culture, too. But move over, sci-fi, because here comes cli-fi.

“In popular films about climate disasters, there’s typically a frenzied scenario in which a group of scientific experts with furrowed brows monitor changes in Earth’s activities just before rushing to warn the entire world of impending upheaval by way of an unprecedented cataclysmic weather event,” writes Kenya Foy. “In the background, everyday citizens go on about their daily duties in complete oblivion — that is, until a tsunami of melted ice cap water sweeps through the populated area, engulfing everything in sight and permanently altering life on Earth as we know it.’’

However, she adds: “In real life, scientists, environmental experts and climate change organizations continue doing the tireless work of making sure that these terrifying “cli-fi” apocalyptic movie plots remain onscreen and don’t actually unfold outside of big-budget movie sets, where they stand to obliterate far more than their box office competitors.”

In Manhattan and London and Sydney, publishers like Morgan Entrekin and Jamie Byng and Julianne Brand are thinking cli-fi now. They’ve heard the term and they’re looking for authors and their agents to come in with good stories. Stories to turn into powerful novels and to later adapt as Hollywood movies. 

Literary agents like Nicole Aragi and Elizabeth Sheinkman are actively seeking out cli-fi novels to turn into literary fiction and genre categories, with Hollywood film options always in mind.

What turned the tide? The summer of 2018 worldwide, from the USA to Canada to Europe, with its wildfires and floods and heatwaves, along with constant media coverage of the link between climate change and these deadly and catastrophic events, helped turned the tide. 

The news coverage woke everyone up. Even the climate denialists are waking up. David Wells-Wallace and Nat Rich, writing compelling journalism about climate change impacts events, also helped put the cli-fi genre into play.

The next 100 years will be the Age of Cli-Fi. Books, shorts stories, novels, poems, art projects, operas, musicals, pop songs, university classes and online forums worldwide will focus our attention on the power of cli-fi to move people with emotions. Government statistics and scientific charts are important, but they are often boring. Cli-fi storytelling goes for the heart and the mind, and the results will surprise future generations.
Publishers now understand this and are seeking out content to fill their bookshelves and complete their marketing plans. Literary agents are in on the game, too, as our PR people and, believe it or not, book reviewers and the New York Times Book Review on Sundays, so ably edited by Brown alum Pamela Paul and her staff of literature lovers.

Cli-fi has arrived. Have you read any lately?

TIME MAGAZINE ASIA EDITION NOVEMBER 12 ISSUE

Massive typo Time magazine Asia edition page 14, November 12 issue, article by Belinda Luscombe 

"fix on brTimeWith 1"



''Some older environmentalists (most prominently, James Lovelock) have suggested that the fact that no future now awaits us in which our planet is not greatly depleted means ''game over.'' Dr Lovelock, from the UK, in particular seems to enjoy saying it’s too late to do anything to save humanity, but he’s not alone among his generation. These “it’s too late” doomers look ahead and see a world full of desserts and empty oceans, dying forrests and dead corral reefs, and they say, “we tried to warn you…” and walk away. But in fact, they do not walk away. They are saying something worth hearing. That humankind, living in Procrastination Nations around the world, is doomed, doomed in 30 more generations and we should help prepare our descendants for what's coming for them. Game over? Not yet. There is much preparation work to be done in the next 500 years, in the realms of spirituality, philosophy, religion and the reality of runaway climate change impacts event over the next 30 generations. That is not walking away. That is facing reality.'' 

vs.



''I increasingly find myself more appalled by the scientists, writers, and activists who know how serious climate change is yet continue to insist that we must continue to hope and pray and "fight" for solutions than I am by everyone ignoring the problem.''

Neal Shusterman’s new dystopian YA ‘cli-fi’ novel ‘'Dry’' is not your grandfather's sci-fi

Thursday, August 30, 2018

With cli-fi, novelists in 2018 are aiming for 'radical empathy' -- an AFP wire story from Germany


With climate change fiction, novelists aim for 'radical empathy'

by Michelle Fitzpatrick in Germany, for AFP news agency (600 words)

https://au.news.yahoo.com/climate-change-fiction-novelists-aim-radical-empathy-094854718--spt.html

OCTOBER 10, 2018 --- GERMANY -- As alarm bells over global warming ring louder, authors are increasingly turning to climate change fiction to dramatise the catastrophic effects of droughts, hurricanes and floods -- and inspire action.
 
Dubbed "cli-fi", the genre has seen an explosion in popularity in recent years as environmental changes sweep the globe and tales of a planet in turmoil appear less like science fiction and a lot more real.
 
"Climate change is slow-moving and intensely place-based," said creative nonfiction author Elizabeth Rush, a lecturer at Brown University in the USA and author of "Rising."
 
 
"It is difficult for us to notice these things in our day-to-day lives," she told AFP.
 
But with climate fiction, "you can imagine being a person whom flood or drought displaces, and with that imaginative stance can come radical empathy."
 
For Norwegian novelist Maja Lunde it started with a documentary about colony collapse disorder, the mysterious die-off of bees that has sparked international concern.
 
"I had an epiphany: this is what I want to write about," Lunde told AFP.
 
"The History of Bees", which conjures up a world without bees where humans have to hand-pollinate trees, became a global bestseller, selling over 1 million copies worldwide and translated into more than 30 languages rlound the globe.
 
Sensing that she "wasn't done yet with this topic", Lunde has set out to write a quartet of climate change novels. The second book, "Blue" deals with a shortage of water and was published in Norway last year.
 
Lunde discussed her novels at the October 2018 Frankfurt book fair, the world's largest publishing event where cli-fi is expected to feature prominently.
 
"I think we will see more of these books in the years to come," Lunde said.
 
"People are caring about climate change more and more... and authors write about what makes them scared."
 
The latest UN IPCC climate report, which warned that drastic changes were needed to prevent Earth from hurtling towards an unlivable rise in temperature, showed that the situation was "getting worse", Lunde said.
 
"But we can still do a lot," she added. "We can all do something. I absolutely think that climate change fiction can change minds."
 
 'The age of cli-fi'
 
American climate activist and literary PR blogger Dan Bloom, credited with coining the term "cli-fi" in 2010, described the genre as a literary cousin of sci-fi, but less escapist and "based on reality and real science".
 
The earliest examples of cli-fi date back decades with Britishh sci-fi writer J.G. Ballard's 1962 novel "The Drowned World", where melting ice caps have partially submerged an abandoned London, considered a classic of the genre.
 
But Bloom, 70, said cli-fi was "made for the 21st Century".
 
"Here we are: floods, heatwaves, water shortages, climate refugees," he told AFP, "I didn't invent cli-fi. Cli-fi invented itself."
 
This year's unusually hot summer, when extreme wildfires ravaged parts of Europe and California, has made the public even more aware of climate events linked to global warming, Bloom said, fuelling "a hunger to read cli-fi novels".
 
But like any good novel, he stressed, cli-fi stories should at their core "be good storytelling, full of emotion and memorable characters."
 
Barbara Kingsolver's "Flight Behaviour" (2012), about the sudden arrival of huge flocks of monarch butterflies in a Tennessee forest, and Margaret Atwood's dystopian MaddAddam trilogy count among the must-reads of the genre.
 
 
 
When done right, cli-fi novels can succeed where "boring" newspaper articles and scientific reports fall short, Bloom said.
 
''Tbe Cli-Fi Report'': cli-fi.net
 
"They can serve to help make readers more conscious of what's at stake as the world warms degree by degree. These novels can be wake-up calls, a cri de coeur."
 
Author Rush agreed.
 

China is late to the game of sci-fi and cli-fi .....but things are changing now with the release of this cli-fi movie

Communist brainwashed mindcontrolled China is late to the game of sci-fi and cli-fi .....but things are changing now with the release of this cli-fi movie from PRC China, see korgw101.blogspot.com h/t Tom Sear @TomSear -
youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=MLcghUzzQCg


With climate change fiction, novelists aim for 'radical empathy'

by Michelle Fitzpatrick in Germany, for AFP news agency (600 words)

https://au.news.yahoo.com/climate-change-fiction-novelists-aim-radical-empathy-094854718--spt.html

OCTOBER 10, 2018 --- GERMANY -- As alarm bells over global warming ring louder, authors are increasingly turning to climate change fiction to dramatise the catastrophic effects of droughts, hurricanes and floods -- and inspire action.
 
Dubbed "cli-fi", the genre has seen an explosion in popularity in recent years as environmental changes sweep the globe and tales of a planet in turmoil appear less like science fiction and a lot more real.
 
"Climate change is slow-moving and intensely place-based," said creative nonfiction author Elizabeth Rush, a lecturer at Brown University in the USA and author of "Rising."
 
 
"It is difficult for us to notice these things in our day-to-day lives," she told AFP.
 
But with climate fiction, "you can imagine being a person whom flood or drought displaces, and with that imaginative stance can come radical empathy."
 
For Norwegian novelist Maja Lunde it started with a documentary about colony collapse disorder, the mysterious die-off of bees that has sparked international concern.
 
"I had an epiphany: this is what I want to write about," Lunde told AFP.
 
"The History of Bees", which conjures up a world without bees where humans have to hand-pollinate trees, became a global bestseller, selling over 1 million copies worldwide and translated into more than 30 languages rlound the globe.
 
Sensing that she "wasn't done yet with this topic", Lunde has set out to write a quartet of climate change novels. The second book, "Blue" deals with a shortage of water and was published in Norway last year.
 
Lunde discussed her novels at the October 2018 Frankfurt book fair, the world's largest publishing event where cli-fi is expected to feature prominently.
 
"I think we will see more of these books in the years to come," Lunde said.
 
"People are caring about climate change more and more... and authors write about what makes them scared."
 
The latest UN IPCC climate report, which warned that drastic changes were needed to prevent Earth from hurtling towards an unlivable rise in temperature, showed that the situation was "getting worse", Lunde said.
 
"But we can still do a lot," she added. "We can all do something. I absolutely think that climate change fiction can change minds."
 
 'The age of cli-fi'
 
American climate activist and literary PR blogger Dan Bloom, credited with coining the term "cli-fi" in 2010, described the genre as a literary cousin of sci-fi, but less escapist and "based on reality and real science".
 
The earliest examples of cli-fi date back decades with Britishh sci-fi writer J.G. Ballard's 1962 novel "The Drowned World", where melting ice caps have partially submerged an abandoned London, considered a classic of the genre.
 
But Bloom, 70, said cli-fi was "made for the 21st Century".
 
"Here we are: floods, heatwaves, water shortages, climate refugees," he told AFP, "I didn't invent cli-fi. Cli-fi invented itself."
 
This year's unusually hot summer, when extreme wildfires ravaged parts of Europe and California, has made the public even more aware of climate events linked to global warming, Bloom said, fuelling "a hunger to read cli-fi novels".
 
But like any good novel, he stressed, cli-fi stories should at their core "be good storytelling, full of emotion and memorable characters."
 
Barbara Kingsolver's "Flight Behaviour" (2012), about the sudden arrival of huge flocks of monarch butterflies in a Tennessee forest, and Margaret Atwood's dystopian MaddAddam trilogy count among the must-reads of the genre.
 
 
 
When done right, cli-fi novels can succeed where "boring" newspaper articles and scientific reports fall short, Bloom said.
 
''Tbe Cli-Fi Report'': cli-fi.net
 
"They can serve to help make readers more conscious of what's at stake as the world warms degree by degree. These novels can be wake-up calls, a cri de coeur."
 
Author Rush agreed.
 



IT'S HERE: The August edition of , featuring an exclusive interview with painter Danielle Nelisse, and links to important writing about art and in , , , and ]
Amy Brady, literary critic who writes a monthly ''cli-fi trends'' column in Chicago, and now a  newsletter editor here, writes:

It's been a rough summer here in 2018 in the United States, Canada and in Europe, too.. The western USA states have suffered intense heat and wildfires, while here in the mid-Atlantic rainfall has been as high as 300% of normal. During these times I feel very lucky to have found a community of people who care so deeply about climate change and its multifarious effects on the planet. Thank you.

Speaking of like-minded individuals, we have a TON of new subscribers this month. So it's a good time, I think, to remind folks what this newsletter is all about. Roughly a year and a half ago, I launched a monthly column at the Chicago Review of Books called "Burning Worlds." It's dedicated to exploring how contemporary writers are thinking about ''cli-fi'' and climate change. This newsletter expands that cli-fi trends project by looking at how artists working in all kinds of mediums (painting, music, theater, literature, etc) are looking at the issue. Incredibly, this issue marks the seventh "Burning Worlds" newsletter, and readership has grown exponentially thanks to your efforts to spread the word.

So please - keep it up! If you have friends or colleagues who would enjoy this newsletter, send them this link so they can subscribe, too.

This month I have for you an interview with Danielle Nelisse, an immigration attorney, private investigator, and--painter! Her "Wildfires" series, which was inspired by nine wildfires that surrounded her California art studio in May 2014, is on view at the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain through July 2020. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.

Until September! -- Amy Brady
INTERVIEW WITH PAINTER DANIELLE BONITA

Amy: What inspired the "Wildfires" series?

Danielle: My “Wildfires” series was first inspired in 2014 when nine wildfires simultaneously surrounded my art studio in Southern California. While I stood in my art studio creating the first “Wildfires” paintings on two canvases side-by-side, my family members checked in over the phone. I just kept painting. The sky became dark with charred ash.

The massive wildfires were fed for days by hot Santa Ana winds that blew in from the desert. To date I have completed nine wildfires paintings and luckily I haven’t been ordered to evacuate my art studio yet.

Amy: What led to the “Wildfires” series being shown at the US Embassy in Bahrain? 

Danielle: When Justin Siberell was appointed as Ambassador by the President, he sought artwork from a California artist to exhibit at the U.S. Embassy in Manama, Bahrain. His staff contacted me and told me that he connected with my artwork because he is originally from California and as a former fire fighter he wanted to share his memory of the wildfires in California with the people of Bahrain.


Wildfires V." 36" x 36" oil on canvas. Photo credit: EgoID Media. © Danielle Nelisse.

Amy: What do you hope viewers will take away from “Wildfires”?

Danielle: I often use art to depict imagery associated with climate change. I feel that a majority of people are overwhelmed with emotions regarding the negative impact of climate change, and the fact that solutions are too complex to implement quickly or easily by any one person or any one government or any one country.

I know when people feel they are not free to express their emotions it compromises their emotional and physical health. By creating abstract paintings that address climate change, I invite viewers to vent their emotions about what is interpreted as a devastating and staggering problem for an international community to solve.

Amy: Many experts say that California’s wildfires are exacerbated by climate change. Do you think about climate change beyond what you paint in the studio?

Danielle: I worry a lot about the negative impacts of climate change. Living in Southern California I am exposed to the consequences of long term drought conditions and see lakes dry up, see mudslides take place after the fires, see lawns removed in favor of xeriscape landscapes, and see wildfires all year round.

These days wildfire firefighters are facing situations they have never encountered, such as a 100 foot wall of flames and triple digit heat for 25 consecutive days.

Eighty-nine large wildfires are currently burning in the United States, but I can’t help but notice that global warming has resulted in wildfires not only in California, but worldwide. Europe just suffered its deadliest fire season in more than a century.

According to Stanford University climate change scientist Noah Diffenbaugh, “We now have very strong evidence that global warming has already put a thumb on the scales, upping the odds of extremes like severe heat and heavy rainfall. We find that global warming has increased the odds of record-setting heat events over more than 80 percent of the planet.”

Amy: What role do you see art playing in our larger conversations about climate change and ecological disasters like wildfires?

Danielle: For about ten years or more, artists like me have been expressing our concern by creating artwork about climate change and ecological disasters. Making my “Wildfires” painting series allows me to release anxiety and express my emotions about climate change. I can only hope that if my art is in the right place at the right time it might provide an opportunity to impact policy makers by sparking productive conversations.

Just a few days ago, the United Nations officially recognized climate change as a cause for migration, outlining ways for countries to cope with communities that are displaced by natural disasters as well as "slow onset events" like drought, desertification, and rising seas. I believe that artists can help keep this issue at the forefront by constantly reminding the public that climate change needs our immediate attention.

Amy: What’s next for you?

Danielle: Within the next month I’m moving my art studio to the Hawaiian island of Maui. Rising temperatures, king tides, shifting precipitation patterns, warming and acidifying oceans and other climate change impacts are already affecting the islands in ways that will change them permanently. Given the rise in sea levels, it may be my last chance to experience and artistically record island life.



Danielle Nelisse is an Artist, Private Investigator, and Immigration Attorney. Growing up in the sixties in the gritty city of Detroit influenced Nelisse’s social values and she has a deep commitment to human rights issues like civil rights, equality and fairness. Nelisse has formal training in art, law, criminal investigation, and urban planning. Her experience as a private investigator specializing in homicide cases provides her with an informed perspective on human action, human interaction, and how economic and environmental factors influence human behavior. As an immigration attorney she has years of experience with the impact of climate change on her international clientele as they migrate. Her art is exhibited by museums, universities, and fortune 500 companies. You can contact her by visiting her website, www.daniellenelisse.com, by phone, (619) 379-5518, or via email at studio@daniellenelisse.com.

The Burning Worlds newsletter interviews are syndicated monthly on Artists & Climate Change.
August's "Burning Worlds" Cli-Fi Trends Column

Siobhan Adcock discusses her latest novel, The Completionist, in my August Burning Worlds column at the Chicago Review of Books. We talked about how the impacts of climate change go far beyond the ecological.

Immigration in Climate Fiction

The Huffington Post interviewed several cli-fi novelists and experts about the depiction of immigration in climate fiction. Reporter called KSR ''the godfather of cli-fi.''
Why New York 2140 is more timely than ever 

To celebrate the paperback release of Kim Stanley Robinson's cli-fi novel New York 2140, Dr Michael Svoboda at Yale Climate Connections takes a look at the science behind it -- and why the novel resonates so strongly with readers.
Meet a poet who writes about climate change

Grist published an insightful and moving profile on poet Craig Santos Perez, who crafts poems that speak to the injustices of climate change.
An art exhibition tries to change minds

Hyperallergic reviews a new exhibition at Wave Hill’s Glyndor Gallery that "showcases artworks that perform quiet yet consequential interventions upon New York City’s urban ecology."
Are our oceans on the brink of collapse?

Australian ''cli-fi'' novelist James Bradley (Cladeturns to non-fiction with this beautifully written--but grief-filled--essay about the sorry state of our oceans and disappearing marine life.