Whether you call it climate fiction, cli fi, or eco fiction, books about climate change (much like sea levels) are on the rise.
November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, which means writers around the world are firing up their laptops to smash out 50,000 words in 30 days.
Some will be plotters. Some will be ‘pantsers.’ And some will be a frantic combination of the two, desperately Googling ‘How many pages is 50,000 words?’ and ‘How many people actually finish NaNoWriMo?’.
Either way, you can’t pour from an empty cup. So if you’re struggling with writer’s block or just need inspiration for plot devices, dip into these cli-fi reads and see what you come away with. You never know, your manuscript might become the next Water for Elephants.
If you’re more of a reader than a writer, these climate novel recommendations are great for a book club or just your own reading list.
“The world is full of painful stories. Sometimes it seems as though there aren’t any other kind and yet I found myself thinking how beautiful that glint of water was through the trees.”
Ravaged by climate and economic crises, California in the 2020s descends into anarchy and violence. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina has the power to transform everything in this post-apocalyptic novel tackling climate change, inequality and racism — which, as Ecojustice knows, is all connected.
“Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall; Death is the fifth and master of all.”
From New York Times bestselling author N. K. Jemisin, this contemporary fantasy fiction explores power, oppression, and revolution.
Starting with The Fifth Season, continuing in The Obelisk Gate and concluding with The Stone Sky, this is the first series to win the Hugo best novel award three years in a row.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, The Overstory is Powers’ twelfth novel and stretches from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest.
Described as a work of activism and resistance, this is a stunning tribute to the natural world.
The Canadian author’s latest novel is a time-travelling story which follows a similar structure to David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, which in turn was inspired by Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler.
Within its pages you’ll find a British exile on the west coast of Canada in the early 1900s; an author on a galaxy-spanning book tour; a moon colony resident almost 300 years in the future; and a lonely girl who films an old-growth forest and experiences a disruption in the recording.
For that matter, Cloud Atlas is also a work of climate fiction — at least in part.
Spanning from the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future, this book tells the story of six interlocking lives. In Mitchell’s third novel, he examines humanity’s dangerous attraction to power and where that may lead us.
“In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction.”