What would it be like to visit different planets, in different galaxies, and interact with alien life? How would the last humans on Earth survive in a post-apocalyptic world? What if we could go far into the past or the future, and even through dimensions?
Click start to play today’s crossword puzzle and identify some of the greatest science fiction writers of the 1960s.
Of all the genres, science fiction is probably the most successful at keeping us connected to our curiosity and our humanity. Even though writers create entire universes or dystopian realities in their novels, the stories often come down to human nature and the choices we are forced to make in incredibly difficult situations.
These choices play a huge role in a new sub-genre of science fiction that is taking over the literary world in a big way: climate fiction, or cli-fi. The term was coined by a Tokyo-based freelance writer named Dan Bloom in 2011, when he wrote about a novel titled Red City Fleece by Jim Laughter – the story revolves around climate refugees in Alaska, USA, many years in the future.
According to Anglo-Australian cultural theorist Andrew Milner, co-author of the book Science fiction and climate change: a sociological approach, climate fiction differs from ordinary science fiction in two areas: the climate change explored must be man-made, and the fiction must take place on Earth.
Today, there are hundreds of cli-fi books in dozens of languages, according to Smithsonian Magazine, the official journal published by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, United States. In December 2020, Germany even hosted the world’s first climate fiction festival in Berlin. There’s a reason for the rise of cli-fi novels – with a planet in the throes of a climate crisis, cli-fi is forcing readers to open their eyes to the reality of global warming and the devastating effects it will have on Earth. . But it does so in an immersive way, through a very different storytelling than what we once see or read in the news.
As they delve into worlds facing climate change, readers are forced to think about Earth’s future like they never have before. They share the same terrors as the refugees who try to survive in the sinking mangrove islands (Amitav Ghosh’s Gun island), or the same perplexity of a rural town responding to the unexpected arrival of thousands of fleeing monarch butterflies (Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight behavior).
If art works as a mirror of our reality, then cli-fi is the next logical step for the literary world.
Have you read any cli-fi novels? Play today’s crossword puzzle and let us know at [email protected]