Saturday, November 11, 2017
Cli-Fi's Back Pages (1859 - 2018)
Cli-fi as a new literary genre came into being a long time ago, and yet at the same time, it seems like it was just yesterday. Charles Darwin of course never heard of the term, nor did Arthur Herzog or Isaac Asimov or Ursula Le Guin or Margaret Atwood when they were writing their first books in the great long ago.
But the term has gained traction over the past several centuries, mostly in the past few years, starting with Angela Evancie's now-famous NPR radio segment on April 2013 that went viral and worldwide.
Then there was the Guardian piece a few weeks later in the UK, with more from the Financial Times in London as well. Later, the New York Times hopped on the cli-fi bandwagon, with a major article on April 1, 2014 (April Fools Day no less!) and another New York Times piece in the online ROOM FOR DEBATE forum later in the summer that year.
Now the cli-fi term is seen every day on Google alerts, and Google searches, and on Twitter, there's a veritable army of Tweets in both 140 character versions and the new 280 character versions, and if you search for "cli-fi" or "#CliFi" and "climate fiction" on any given day on Twitter, you see hundreds of tweets talking about and linking to Cli-Fi news articles, opeds and fellow tweets and retweets.
Margaret Atwood was the first person to tweet about cli-fi as a literary genre and she did that in 2012, believe or not, way ahead of the curve.
From there to the New Yorker magazine, the BBC, Slate and Salon and the Washington Book Book Review -- as well as LARB and the Chicago Review of Books, cli-fi is front and center now as more and more novelists and publishers realize its usefulness as both marketing term and headline eyeball-catching term. Short and sweet. Five letters. Here to stay for another 100 years at least!
Posted by DANIELBLOOM at 8:06 PM