dan-bloom2Dan Bloom has written a number of articles for TeleRead talking about the new sub-genre of “Cli-Fi”—science-fiction specifically revolving around climate change issues. It’s been interesting to watch the idea develop.

Just now an email from Medium.com’s “Matter” e-magazine landed in my inbox announcing an issue focusing on climate-change matters, led off by an article by prominent author Margaret Atwood looking at some different potential visions of the post-petroleum future. The issue specifically uses the “Cli-Fi” tag. As it happens, Bloom himself has an article about Cli-Fi in it, and it also features a Cli-Fi short story by Paolo Bacigalupi.

Perhaps particularly relevant to the subject matter of TeleRead is the short story “Table of Contents” by Choire Sicha, which casts itself as the introduction to a cache of the 40,000 most important Wikipedia articles which have been printed off and archived against some civilization-ending disaster. “In any event, please do not leave the entirety of portable human knowledge out in the rain,” the fictitious archivist helpfully advises.

Climate change is an interesting issue. It seems to be about as close as the real world will approach to the Biblical question of eschatology. Much like the End Times, some people argue it’s incontrovertible and others scoff at them. People can find all the scientific facts they want to support their position either way. But unlike eschatology (well, unless you’re one of the “incontrovertible” crowd), sooner or later we’re not going to be able to avoid knowing who was right, perhaps by the time we reach the end of our lives. It’s either alarming or simply interesting, depending on your point of view.

Either way, enjoy the stories.


  1. Well, some of the bunch of clowns who are running for the Republican presidential nomination still dance around this issue, some of them claiming that the science on this topic is still not definite.
    I look forward to seeing whether the issue of climate change comes up in the forthcoming presidential debate.

  2. That’s the thing about science. When you’ve got something that’s definitely happened, you can explain it. When it’s about something that will just probably happen, there’s always room for doubt. Even if 97% of scientists agree it’s real. After all, the opponents point out, if one is wrong, then they’re all wrong. 🙂

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