Tuesday, June 21, 2016

America's 2nd ''cli-fi book club'' debuts July 20 in Solon, Ohio, part of nationwide trend in this era of climate change and global warming impacts events worldwide

Nation's 2nd ''cli-fi book club'' debuts July 20 in Solon, Ohio

Richard Friedman will be hosting the club at the Solon Public Library just outside Cleveland. In a recent Facebook post, Friedman announced:

"I'm pleased to announce the first meeting of the Cleveland Climate Fiction Book Club. Join us on July 20, from 7:00pm-8:00pm, at the Solon, Ohio public library. The first book we'll discuss is "FLIGHT BEHAVIOR" by Barbara Kingsolver. Can't go wrong with that one!''

Courtesy of ArtReach St. Croix
                    Heather Rutledge pioneered the nation's first cli-fi book club in 2016 in Minnesota, the first of what will be many in the upcoming years, according to observers.
CLEVELAND, OHIO -- The nation's first community book club devoted to reading ''Cli-Fi"  — ''climate fiction'' novels focused on climate change and its impacts — had its beginning in Stillwater, Minnesota in early 2016, organized by local arts leader Heather Rutledge.

The starting texts were the anthology “I’m With The Bears: Short Stories From a Damaged Planet” and Barbara Kingsolver’s novel “Flight Behavior.''

The cli-fi term was created by a Taiwan-based climate activist and PR maven who curates a steady stream of reports for academics and others interested in what he considers a distinct and important literary genre at ''The Cli-Fi Report'' (cli-fi.net).

 He wrote on his blog:
Although this reporter has been following the rise of the CF genre over the past few years, I had no idea that these specialized book clubs were coming. In fact, I had never met Ms. Rutledge before last week. This idea is her idea, and she carried it out with her team in Minnesota. And now Richard Friedman in Ohio is starting a new cli fi book club at the Solon Public Library in a Cleveland suburub.

Richard Friedman, an Ohio man who uses some of his
free time to pen warnings about climate change issues, is the author of a
cli fi novel titled "Escape from Canamith," and while it's part sci fi and
fantasy, it also fits neatly into the rising new genre term of climate
fiction, also dubbed "cli fi."

His second novel, titlied "The Two Worlds of Billy Callahan", is available now, too.

​Friedman decided a few months ago to start his own cli-fi book club, and after getting some advice by email from Heather Rutledge, he contact
his local library branch in Solon, Ohio and asked if he could set up a book club there for climate-themed novels. The library director said said and
the first meeting will take place on July 20, from 7 pm to 8 pm, he told this blog.
The first novel the group will read and discuss will also be Kingsolver's "Flight Behavior," Friedman recently said in a Facebook announcement.

In adddition to Rutledge and Friedman in the USA, a woman in the UK -- E.J. Nash at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1755823031331189/ -- has also set up a cli-fi book club. She explains:

''This is essentially a book club for people interested in reading literary novels that include anthropogenic (that is, human-induced) climate change/global warming as a theme. This is a relatively newly coined genre known as 'cli-fi' (climate fiction).]

''I've started this group because I'm currently completing my PhD in philosophy on climate change-related issues, and feel too guilty reading fiction at the moment unless it's related to my work! I'm also looking forward to meeting like-minded locals here in the NE. 

​Friedman writes novels and has two climate-themed books already published.

Here's the scoop on me
​," he told this blog in June. "​
I own a business that monitors people on GPS
tracking for the
​ohio ​
court system. We keep track of them and report back to the
court if they screw up. We also install breathalyzers in the cars for peopl
with too many DUI's. The client must pass a breath test before the car will
start. I meet a lot of bizzare people. Nice business, but not get rich
money. In my own little way, I'm keeping drunk drivers off the road. I like
to say that I'm saving Ohioans during the day, and the rest of the world at
night. At night is when I head to the basement and write. My wife was kind
enough to give me twenty square feet near the furnace to write my

​His views on global warming?

I feel strongly about climate change as a real threat, and even more so that
pollution has had destroyed so much of our world. We poison the water, the
air, the ground, it's horrible! I wanted to write about it, and years ag
thought of an ecological story with a "Twilight Zone" style ending.
Actually, I thought of the ending first, then wrote the novel. The book was
a labor of love. No matter how many copies I sell, the book is done. It's
mine, and all the friends and relatives that knew me as "Browns fan,
business owner, father, etc.., now can add "Author" to that list. I'm very
humble about it all. It was a challenge to complete the book. It took about
3-4 years before it was finished. First draft, second draft, found an editor
that helped me fix the manuscript, then another re-write, then tried to get an agent, and finally self published. What a thrill! Outside the
birth of
kids, probably the greatest moment of my life when that book
went on Amazon in the middle of the night. A big storm rolled through
Northeast Ohio as the book hit the internet. It was like a sign from Mother
Nature telling me that I had done good.

The facts that Friedman presented in a PR package are powerful: "Every passing minute, at least 51 acres of tropical forests are destroyed; well over 50 tonnes of fertile soil are washed or blown off crop lands; more than 35, 000 barrels of oil are consumed and conservatively, humans add 12, 000 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. To think that these grave statistics occur every sixty seconds on planet Earth and that most of them have changed for the worse, leaves agitated concerns as to whether the Earth has not reached an advanced state of dystopia.”
So with ''Escape to Canamith: Templeton's Ark,'' this Ohio writer set his sights on waking up humanity. It's a well thought-out story, with settings and dialogue that are sharp. In addition to being an entertaining read, it's tale of heroism about the bond of family and the will to survive. Friedman put his heart into the novel and a second novel is out now too.

His setting up the nation's second cli-fi book club is part of a nationwide trend, and more are certain to follow. A news article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer about this book club in Solon would make a perfect feacture story readers there in mid-July and this blog has already contacted some reporters and editors there with a news tip on this.

1 comment:


In the UK, a woman named E J Nash has started a cli fi book club, too. More information on her program soon. She has been announcing the club on Facebook.