Saturday, September 12, 2015

Odds against tomorrow remain high as droughts linger - Cli-fi novelist Nat Rich to visit Vanderbilt University cli-fi literature class on October 6

by  staff writer

Nat Rich  will be at Vanderbilt University on October 6 speaking at 4 pm there
at the Warren Humanities Center, 4pm. Rich, author of the 'clience fiction' novel Odds Against Tomorrow, will speak about his work and the emerging genre of “cli-fi.” Additional events for his visit will be announced.


Novelist Nat Rich's last foray into pop culture fiction was the publication in 2013 of a comic cli-fi novel titled "Odds Against Tomorrow." It got reviewed with two thumbs up seemingly everywhere, with multiple reviews at NPR and the New York Times. It came out in hardback at first and then in a paperback edition, and there's even talk now of a major motion picture being made based on the book.

With the United Nations climate conference COP21 coming up in Paris in less than two months, Rich's novel matters all the more and interest in his comic tale remains high even three years after initial release. In the story he tells, the main character is a Jewish risk analyst in New York named Mitch Zukor who winds up in hot water when a massive hurricane hits Manhattan. The ensuing hijinx is a story so well told that the novel can be considered to be one of the first cli-fi classics of the 21st century.

This fall, with the Paris climate talks on the calendar and all eye glued what will happen there, Rich is showing that he is not all talk and no action. Since he believes that it will be his generation -- he is 35 years old -- who will be writing the important climate-themed novels of the future, and since he believes that by 2030 most colleges and universities around the world will be offering courses in cli-fi literature, he plans to visit Vanderbilt Univeristy and  several other top universities on the East Coast this fall to speak with students and faculty groups there. He will be at Vanderbilt on October 6, according to the college's PR office.

The hard work, Rich believes, won't be so much the reading of climate novels in college classrooms or in reporters writing longform ''think pieces'' about the merits or pitfalls of such books, but in the actual writing of such novels in the future as the younger generations of novelists engage with the issues of global warming and climate change.

In addition to Rich's personal treks to visit college classrooms this fall, from his comfortable home in New Orleans, over 50 universities nationwide are riding the new literary wave and offering tailored cli-fi courses this semester and next.

From Vanderbilt University in the east to Arizona State University in the west,  and at the University of Wisconsin and Miami University of Ohio in the midwest, cli-fi classes in English and political science departments are all the rage now. 

The Paris talks are fast approaching, and the fate of humankind appears to hang in the balance. What would the fictional risk analyst Mitch Zukor in Nat Rich's comic novel have to say now about the chances of success or failure this time around?

I'm afraid to ask.

1 comment:


October 6 ...warren humanities center ...vanderbilt...nashville ...
4 pm....