Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

''Kingsman: The Secret Service'' is a spy-action-comedy ''cli-fi'' film and has been nominated for a 2015 Cliffie

Kingsman: The Secret Service is a spy action comedy ''cli-fi'' film and has been nominated for Best Cli Fi Movie of 2015 for the annual CLI FI MOVIE AWARDS to be announced next December.
Starring COLIN FIRTH; the ''villain'' is a climate alarmist/eco-terrorist. Rightwing Canadian newspaper columnist Mark Steyn has a rightwing write up on the movie here.

CLIIFIES news here: aka THE CLI FI MOVIE AWARDS, an annual movie awards event

Kingsman: The Secret Service
by Mark Steyn
Mark at the Movies
February 28, 2015
Climate-change madman Thamuel L Jackson announces his plans for world dominathon.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"Cli-Fi genre and academia make a good mix as college classrooms go cli-fi" - IPS oped (just published today)

UPDATE MARCH 11: IPS [Inter Press Service], an international news service, runs this oped on "Cli-Fi and academia make a good mix as college classrooms go cli-fi" - LINK to IPS site:

LEDE: ''From Columbia University in New York to the University of Cambridge in the UK, college classrooms are picking up on the “cli-fi” genre of fiction, and cinema and academia is right behind them......While authors are penning cli-fi novels — with movie scriptwriters creating cli-fi screenplays to try to sell to Hollywood — classrooms worldwide are now focusing attention of the rising genre of literature and cinema.''


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Danish literature researcher Gregers Andersen has published a non-fiction book about cli-fi novels (in Danish now, with an English translation coming out later this year)

In the academic world, on the research front, 'cli-fi' is 

growing by leaps and bounds. Two big events are on tap for 


1. Dr Adam Trexler in Oregon, an independent scholar, has arranged with the University of Virginia Press (UVA Press) to publish his genre-shaking nonfiction study of over 150 cli fi novels past and present. The book is titled ANTHROPOCENE FICTIONS and it is due out in May. Details are already online at the UVA website.

2. Danish researcher Dr Gregers Andersen is among the top academics in Europe also looking into the evolution and growth of the cli fi genre, and his new non-fiction book, based on his PhD thesis at the University of Copenhagen, will be published in English later this year. For now, it's available in Danish and titled: ''Klimaforandrede verdensforhold : Den globale opvarmning i fiktion og filosofi. ''

Tentative English title: 
[''Climate-Changed Existence and its Worlds: Global Warming in Fiction and Philosophy'']

A press release from the University of Copenhagen, where Dr Andersen works, published this news release on April 23, 2014 last year. The press release was headlined:

'' Fiction prepares us for a world changed by global warming ''

Dr Andersen teaches at the 

Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen

He notes:

My research is primarily focused on 2 subjects.
1.) I am currently working on the project "Theorizing the Anthropocene", a project funded by the Danish Counsil for Independent Resseach. The main focus point of the project is the question: Which new critical notions of culture does the idea of the Anthropocene (i.e. "The Geologocal Age of Humanity) provoke in contemporary cultural theory? For more information visit the homepage:

2.) I am continiously also working with the phenomenon Climate Fiction (Cli-Fi) - that is, fiction that employ the scientific paradigm of anthropogenic global warming in its plot - as well as with representations of anthropogenic global warming in contemporary philosophy and cultural theory. I expect to publish a book on contemporary Western cli-fi in 2015, as well as a full view of my research on this subject can be found in my Danish language Ph.D. Dissertation ''Climate Changed Existence and its Worlds. Global Warming in Fiction and Philosophy'' (published in Danish in 2014).   



Climate fiction, or simply ''cli-fi'', is a newly coined term for novels and films which focus on the consequences of global warming. New research from University of Copenhagen shows how these fictions serve as a mental laboratory that allows us to simulate the potential consequences of climate change and imagine other living conditions.
“Global warming is much more than scientific data on changes in the atmosphere; it is also a cultural phenomenon in which meaning is being shaped by the books we read and the films we see. And there are so many of them now that we can speak of a completely new genre, cli-fi, says PhD Gregers Andersen who has just defended his thesis Climate-Changed Existence and its Worlds; Global Warming in Fiction and Philosophy at the University of Copenhagen.
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox
Screenshot from The Day After Tomorrow, 2004
“We use these films and novels to imagine what life and society might be like in a future when global warming has dramatically changed our world because, as opposed to numbers and statistics, fiction can make us feel and understand the changes.”
In his thesis, Gregers Andersen analyses 40 different novels, short stories, and films produced between 1977 - 2014 which all, in one way or the other, employ global warming as a theme. And in the 40 works, he has identified five themes that each represents global warming in a different way: The Social Breakdown, The Judgment, The Conspiracy, The Loss of Wilderness and The Sphere.

Nature passes judgment

The 2004 Hollywood blockbuster ''The Day After Tomorrow'' is a prime example of the theme Gregers Andersen has termed the Judgment; during the film, global warming has catastrophic consequences and causes a new ice age that lays most of Earth waste.
“In The Day After Tomorrow and a number of similar fictions, nature passes moral judgment on mankind’s exploitation of Earth’s resources and becomes an avenger who, quite literally, clears the air and thus restores the proper balance between man and nature,” Gregers Andersen says.

Climate change speeded up for effect

Apart from the Judgment theme Gregers Andersen, as mentioned, points to four other recurrent themes in the climate fictions he has analysed: The Social Breakdown, The Conspiracy, The Loss of Wilderness and The Sphere (see explanation in the factbox to the right). Despite the thematic differences displayed in these fictional takes on global warming and climate change, they all seem to have one central trait in common:
“If we do not take care of our environment, of or our home, it will change, and it will feel and seem very different – “unhomely” if you will. This is exactly the feeling the fictions want to leave us with. And even though UN’s panel on climate change (IPPC) has previously issued a  report stating that global warming may lead to abrupt and irreversible changes , most of these fictions do tend to exaggerate the consequences of global warming, and the climate changes often happen extremely quickly,” Gregers Andersen points out and continues:
“They do this to depict characters who can remember how the world was before the climate changes set in – the characters are, in other words, able to spot that “our home” has changed. However, it is still a recognizable world the characters inhabit in these fictions. And it needs to be recognizable because we are supposed to feel uncomfortable with the fact that our home planet has become a strange and alien place.”

Friday, March 6, 2015

'Cli-fi' Down Under

While Australia is often dubbed DOWN UNDER by northerners in Europe and North America, in fact, Australia is NOT Down Under anything, except in the way the industrial Northern world ordered the way maps and globes were created, putting THE GREAT WHITE NORTH on top of the globe in the so-called NORTH, where the GREAT WHITE RACES lived and they then put Australia way down there in the --get this term! -- the antipodes! ANTI PODES! Why anti? Maybe the antipodes are the real podes and Europe and North America are the antipodes? In a more realistic world, a globe of this EARTH might put Australia on the top of the globe and on the top of world maps and Africa too and NZ and India too, and put the beloved GREAT WHITE NORTH at the bottom of such an inverted globe. Who says Australia is down under? Down under what? BULLSHIT!

That said, and humor is always part of  daily menu here in the semi demi antipodes where this blogger lives on an invisible island -- invisible at least to the rest of the world! -- since we can see ourselves in plain light of day! -- that said, here is some good news about Australian literature.

More and more Australian novelists are embracing the cli-fi genre, either directly as Alice Robinson has in her powerful new cli-fi debut novel titled ANCHOR POINT, or indirectly in James Bradley's equally powerful cli fi novel titled CLADE.

Reviews for both books are appearing worldwide now on websites and blogs, and all you gotta do is Google the titles or check the summaries at Amazon.

With more and more academics in Australia embracing the cli fi meme, and the Marquarie Dictionary naming cli fi one of the key new terms of 2014, cli fi has found a home in Australia, too, with Robinon and Bradley leading the way this year. For sure, there is more to come Down Under, er, Up Above! Look at the world map and globe in a different way once in a while and see reality for what it is. It is not what we always think it is.

As Borges said, this ALL might just be ONE BIG DREAM that some diety from Asteroid Az101556 is dreaming, and when SHE wakes up, we will all be gone. Like that! In an instant! PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT.

But for now, know that cli fi is the next cab off the rank, as book critic Jason Steger put it in the Sydney Morning Herald recently.

NOTE: While some book blog reviewers and newspaper critics have put James Bradley's novel CLADE in the sci fi camp, if you look at the book and read for what it is, IT IS NOT sci fi at all.

As one reviewer in the so-called NORTHERN part of the globe wrote in his very good review of the novel: "Clade is science fiction, but it doesn’t feature any spaceships, aliens, or malevolent robots. Clade’s technology is believable advances of gadgets we’re already used to."

So then, if there are no ''spaceships, aliens, or malevolent robots'' and the technology in the novel is in fact just ''very believable advances of gadgets we’re already used to,'' then why label his novel as sci fi? It is not sci fi at all.

Just because a novel or movie takes place in the future does not mean it is sci fi. To be sci fi, a novel must have spaceships, aliens, malevolent robots, clocks that strike 13 and wormholes to Earth-like planets. Stuff like that. ''Clade'' has none of that. ''Clade'' is about humankind's future in relationship to climate change and global warming. It is a very well written and crafted cli fi novel. Period.

It's true, ''sci-fi fans get excited about speculative future technologies and out-there social effects,'' and that's cool. There's a place for sci fi in our lives, for sure. But James Bradley new cli fi novel is not a sci fi novel. It's about people who dwell in the VERY near future, and it's not about spaceships, aliens, or malevolent robots at all. Read it and shelve in your ''cli fi'' rack.

Some reviewers have taken to calling CLADE as sci fi because they cannot think of another term for it. But ther IS a better literary term for it: cli-fi. A cousin of sci fi but in a different leagure entirely.

As for Alice Robinson's ANCHOR POINT, notice nobody is calling it a sci fi novel, even though it also takes place in the future. Even the author herself refers to it as a cli fi novel. James Bradley might soon refer to his novel as a cli fi novel, too, and drop the sci fi tag. But it's up to him, of course.
And in the end, what matters in literature is the STORY, the content of the book, and not the label critics give it. Cli fi, sci fi, schmi-fi --- what matters is the storytelling chops and both Robinson and Bradley have talent up the kazoo when it comes to telling powerful, rivetting stories.

That's what matters.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Lisa Hill previews Alice Robinson's ANCHOR POINT, a powerful cli fi novel from Australia


''As you could tell from the Opening Lines of Anchor Point that I posted a day or two ago, I was thoroughly impressed by this debut [cli-fi] novel. It’s an absorbing, satisfying book that suggests a promising future for Melbourne author Alice Robinson.''


Author: Alice Robinson
Title: Anchor Point
Publisher: Affirm Press, 2015
Fishpond: Anchor Point
or direct from Affirm Press.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cli-fi literature class on tap at Columbia University Summer Sesssion, May 27 begins...

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY has an important class on tap starting May 27
PROFESSOR: ...............Darragh G. Martin, an Irish expat in New York for over 10 years and a playwright and a novelist, see THE KEEPER. Born in 1980. From Dublin.

Course Description

The Great Question before us is: Are we doomed? The Great Question before us is: Will the Past release us? The Great Question before us is: Can we Change?"(Tony Kushner, ''Angels in America: Perestroika'')
In 2005, Bill McKibben called for more writers and artists to address the climate crisis, arguing that political action would be impossible without greater cultural engagement. Ten years later, anthologies, labels, and patterns have emerged, allowing us to consider an emerging canon of ‘cli-fi' literature and explore how the Age of the Anthropocene imagines the story of climate change.
At once incredibly dramatic (exacerbating floods, droughts, and other extreme weather) and tremendously slow (with glaciers outpacing governments in speed), climate change presents particular challenges for storytellers. Examining a variety of forms (including plays, novels, films, and writing for children) we will consider how contemporary literature negotiates these and other challenges.
What happens to science when it becomes embedded within stories? What are the tensions between presenting climate change as a story of intergenerational responsibility or one of global inequity?
How is climate justice imagined by contemporary stories?
How are new developments in literature (hyperlinked poems, video series, interactive websites) adapting to represent climate change?
Our readings will focus on literature from the USA and United Kingdom, with additional readings from scientists, critics, writers, and activists from across the world. Each week we will focus on a different party in climate change's complex ecosystem, from the fossil fuel companies causing the climate crisis to the next generation of children reading and writing about climate change. Authors studied will include Barbara Kingsolver, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Tom Chivers, Steve Waters, Tarell McCraney, and Vandana Shiva. We will also watch and discuss the following films: Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Day after Tomorrow, and The Island President.

School of the Arts, Barnard, Columbia College, Engineering and Applied Science: Undergraduate, Engineering and Applied Science: Graduate, Graduate School of Arts and Science, General Studies, School of Continuing Education, Global Programs, International and Public Affairs
Over 50 academic & media links: