A recent boom in “cli-fi” and “apoca-lit” lends an ethical urgency to the threats of global warming, a recent magazine article says. Insightful Canadian literary critic Louise Fabiani in Montreal explains ''why novels are still the best way to clarify our planet’s hopes and fears' in a very good piece for Pacific Standard magazine in California.
In the commercial camp, Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Water Knife is the highly accomplished, action-packed counterpart of Vaye Watkins’ more poetically envisioned (yet still-brutal) near future. Both warn about the consequences of current West Coast weather patterns and (mis)management of resources. Given very real water shortages, these books are trenchant and timely, and portend further titles within [a new independent literary genre that's been dubbed] “cli-fi”. As climate change and human population growth continue alarmingly but incrementally, cli-fi and post-apocalit have the power to scare us into action.* [NOTE: THIS BLOGGER'S IMPORTANT EDIT *HERE ABOVE* INSIDE THE BRACKLETS TO MARK AN IMPORTANT CORRECTION WHICH WE HOPE FABIANI WILL MAKE IN THE ONLINE VERSION OF HER ARTICLE. IN THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE, FABIANI INCORRECTLY CAND MISTAKENLY CALLED ''CLI-FI'' A ''SUB-SUB-GENRE'' OF SCIENCE FICTION. IT IS NOT A SUB-SUB-GENRE OF ANYTHING AND IS NOT A SUB-GENRE OF SCIENCE FICTION, EITHER. CLI-FI IS A SEPARATE, INDEPENDENT LITEARY GENRE OF ITS OWN AND GATHERING STEAM WORLDWIDE NOW ON ITS OWN AS WELL.]
One last short excertpt. Fabiani wrote in her article, and we quote her here: "Most novels in the idiom, like McCarthy’s, feature minimal explanations as to how the hero(ine) became a survivor of Something Really Bad; writing that shifts between spare and devastatingly beautiful; and characters with little to no inner life — as if it has been bleached out of them by the very struggle to live. While most commercial post-apocalit is no fun-fest, high-literary examples tend to be especially grim."
Very well said, Professor Fabiani!
Read the full article at https://psmag.com/
SEE ALSO: ''DROUGHTLANDIA'' at the same magazine: