22 results for “Next Nature is”

How climate fiction novels allow us to imagine possible futures

Adeline Johns-Putra
January 16th 2020

Every day brings fresh and ever more alarming news about the state of the global environment. To speak of mere “climate change” is inadequate now, for we are in a “climate emergency”. It seems as though we are tripping over more tipping points than we knew existed.

But our awareness is at last catching up with the planet’s climate catastrophes. Climate anxiety, climate trauma, and climate strikes are now all part of many people’s mental landscape and daily lives. This …

Showcase your work on nextnature.net!

NextNature.net
January 6th 2020

Are you a recent graduate or young maker who feels your work deserves a spotlight? Does your project seek to understand how technology becomes so omnipresent, complex, intimate and autonomous – a nature of its own?

You are the Next Generation, and we are looking for you!

Next Nature will be launching an open platform to showcase your work and stimulate discussion. We are welcoming submissions that can enrich and challenge current ways of thinking about our future with technology.…

Five must-see exhibitions before 2020

NextNature.net
December 2nd 2019

A large-scale asian food market serving in vitro meat, a transatlantic expo on the future of nature and a travelling exhibition that explores our relationship with AI. These five must-see exhibitions are not only grande in scale, but also fascinating and inspiring to watch.

Next Nature Showxcase XL
🌍 Shenzhen (CH)

We are proud to invite you to our largest showcase (so far), currently on display at OCT Art & Design in Shenzhen, China. Spanning across three floors, with a …

Next Nature gift guide 2019

NextNature.net
December 2nd 2019

Whether you're in need of a holiday gift for your techie spouse or tech-adverse grandpa, the truth is, your loved ones deserve better than a generic gift card. Now we understand that selecting the ultimate gift can seem like an enormously daunting task — that is why we've done the heavy lifting for you. The Next Nature gift guide, once again, has got you covered.

For the freshest of farmers: Yeezy algae sneakers

Forget those old crocs, these are the …

Work with us!

NextNature.net
July 30th 2019

We are a network of makers, thinkers, educators and supporters. With members in 44 countries, we are the international network for anyone interested in the debate on our future – in which biology and technology are fusing.

We explore how technology becomes so omnipresent, complex, intimate and autonomous – a nature of its own. We stimulate discussion, initiate publications, events and traveling expositions on how to dream, build and live in the next nature.

That’s a towering goal, and to …

Call for movies: Which movie deserves a spot in the sequal to the Next Nature movie top 10?

NextNature.net
February 7th 2019

Sequels and prequels appear in our cinemas every day but somehow we haven’t had a follow-up to our infamous Next Nature movie top 10 that fully deserves the “sequel treatment”.

Allow us to refresh your memory:

1. Quest for Fire / La Guerre du Feu (1981)
2. Being There (1979)
3. Koyaansiqatsi (1983)
4. Blade Runner (1984)
5. American Beauty (1999)
6.The Matrix (1999)
7. Grizzly Man (2005)
8. Avatar (2009)
9. The Terminal (2004)
10. Idiocracy (2006)

Thus our …

What Is Next Nature? #16

Ingmar Nieuweboer
August 26th 2016
Feeling lonely while surrounded with people

What Is Next Nature? #15

Ingmar Nieuweboer
August 20th 2016
Wearing Earphones without listening to music.

What Is Next Nature? #14

Ingmar Nieuweboer
August 12th 2016
Not knowing what hanging up the phone means.

What Is Next Nature? #13

Ingmar Nieuweboer
August 5th 2016
Feeling as if the world comes to a hold during a blackout.
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Every day brings fresh and ever more alarming news about the state of the global environment. To speak of mere “climate change” is inadequate now, for we are in a “climate emergency”. It seems as though we are tripping over more tipping points than we knew existed.

But our awareness is at last catching up with the planet’s climate catastrophes. Climate anxiety, climate trauma, and climate strikes are now all part of many people’s mental landscape and daily lives. This is almost four decades after scientists first began to warn of accelerated global warming from carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere.

And so, unsurprisingly, climate fiction, climate change fiction, “cli-fi” – whatever you want to call it – has emerged as a literary trend that’s gained astonishing traction over the past ten years.

Just a decade ago, when I first began reading and researching literary representations of climate change, there was a curious dearth of fiction on the subject. In 2005, the environmental writer Robert Macfarlane had asked plaintively: “Where is the literature of climate change?”. When I went to work in 2009 on one of the first research projects to attempt to answer this question, I found that some climate change novels were only beginning to emerge. Ten years later, the ubiquity of cli-fi means that the question of how many cli-fi novels there are seems irrelevant. Equally irrelevant is any doubt about the urgency of the climate emergency.

But the question of how to deal with such a complex challenge is paramount. The climate emergency demands us to think about our responsibilities on a global scale rather than as individuals, to think about our effects not just on fellow humans but on all the species that call this planet home, and to think about changing the resource-focused, profit-seeking behaviours that have been part of human activity for centuries.

This is where literature comes in. It affords us the headspace in which to think through these difficult and pressing questions.

Cli-fi has a central role in allowing us to do the psychological work necessary to deal with climate change. I am often asked to identify the climate novel that is the most powerful and effective and, just as often, I reply that no one novel can do this. The phenomenon of cli-fi as a whole offers us different ways and a multitude of spaces in which to consider climate change and how we address it.

Here, then, is our list of a range of novels that offer just such a diverse set of perspectives. These books provide readers with a range of thought (and feeling) experiments, from dystopian despair to glimmers of hope, from an awareness of climate change impacts on generations to come to vivid reminders of how we are destroying the many other species that share our planet.

1. The Sea and Summer, 1987

Australian novelist George Turner’s book is one of the earliest examples of cli-fi and is prescient in more ways than one. Set in Melbourne in the 2030s, skyscrapers are drowning due to sea-level rise: a setting for a stark division between the rich and the poor. Like many cli-fi novels, this novel’s dystopian future provides a sophisticated thought experiment on the effects of climate change on our already divided society. Turner’s book deserves to be reread — and reissued — as classic and still relevant cli-fi.

2. Memory of Water, 2012

Water has become a precious commodity in this cli-fi dystopia by Finnish author Emmi Itäranta. In Nordic Europe in the distant future, a young girl must decide whether to share her family’s precious water supply with her friends and fellow villagers and risk being accused of “water crime”, punishable by death. This tender coming-of-age narrative is thus also a meditation on the value of resources taken entirely for granted by the contemporary, westernised reader.

3. The Wall, 2019

At first glance, John Lanchester’s novel could be a comment on the rise of anti-refugee sentiment in Britain. In a not-so-distant future, every inch of British shoreline is guarded by an immense wall, a bulwark against illegal migrants as well as rising sea levels. But through the experiences of a young border guard, the novel shows us how this national obsession with borders not only distracts from the climate emergency at hand; it diminishes our responsibility to fellow humans around the world, whose lives are threatened by climate change and for whom migration is a desperate solution.

4. Clade, 2015

Australian author James Bradley’s novel chronicles several generations of one family in an increasingly devastated world. The day-to-day detail of their lives, as relationships hold together or break apart, unfolds against the backdrop of environmental and thus societal breakdown. The novel contrasts the mundane miscommunications that characterise human relations with the big issue of global warming that could rob future generations of the opportunity to lead meaningful lives.

5. The Stone Gods, 2007

Jeanette Winterson’s stab at cli-fi offers, like Bradley’s novel, a long view. The novel ranges over three vastly different timeframes: a dystopian, future civilisation that is fast ruining its planet and must seek another; 18th-century Easter Island on the verge of destroying its last tree; and a near-future Earth facing global environmental devastation. As readers time travel between these stories, we find, again and again, the damage wrought by human hubris. Yet, the novel reminds us, too, of the power of love. In the novel, love signifies an openness to other humans and other species, to new ideas, and to better ways of living on this planet.

6. The Swan Book, 2013

This novel by indigenous Australian author Alexis Wright is unconventional, fable-like cli-fi. Its protagonist is a young indigenous girl whose life is devastated by climate change but most of all by the Australian government’s mistreatment of its indigenous populations. Weaving indigenous belief with biting satire, Wright’s novel is a celebration of her people’s knowledge of how to live with nature, rather than in exploitation of it.

7. Flight Behaviour, 2012

Unlike the other novels on this list, this one, by Barbara Kingsolver, is a realist novel set entirely in the present day. A young woman from Tennessee stumbles upon thousands of monarch butterflies roosting on her in-laws’ land, the insects having been thrown off course by extreme weather events brought about by climate change.

From the scientists who come to study the problem, she learns of the delicate balance that is needed to keep the butterflies on course. Kingsolver’s rich descriptions of an impoverished Appalachian community are combined with her biologist’s training, so that reader empathy is eventually shifted from the likeable heroine to the natural wonder that is the butterflies. We are reminded of how climate change risks not simply human comfort but the planet’s ecological complexity.

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Are you a recent graduate or young maker who feels your work deserves a spotlight? Does your project seek to understand how technology becomes so omnipresent, complex, intimate and autonomous – a nature of its own?

You are the Next Generation, and we are looking for you!

Next Nature will be launching an open platform to showcase your work and stimulate discussion. We are welcoming submissions that can enrich and challenge current ways of thinking about our future with technology.

The showcase allows any kind of creators to upload your work for possible publication. All submissions are reviewed. Creative responses are never static; they are constantly shifting, merging and adapting as we venture into the unknown. We want to make sure that you, as the Next Generation, are at the forefront.

We are calling for all boundary-crossing creative interventions, disruptions and diversions to get the recognition they deserve.

So be bold, get in touch and plot your coordinates as we navigate the future together.

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A large-scale asian food market serving in vitro meat, a transatlantic expo on the future of nature and a travelling exhibition that explores our relationship with AI. These five must-see exhibitions are not only grande in scale, but also fascinating and inspiring to watch.

Next Nature Showxcase XL
🌍 Shenzhen (CH)

We are proud to invite you to our largest showcase (so far), currently on display at OCT Art & Design in Shenzhen, China. Spanning across three floors, with a total surface of 1200 m2, this exhibition truly is a Next Nature showcase extraordinaire. From our Bistro In Vitro to HUBOT and the NANO Supermarket, to the Habitat VR; this is where you get to experience your favourite Next Nature projects in a completely new light!

What? Our largest showcase yet
When? Now, until 1 February 2020
Where? OCT Art and Design Gallery, Shenzen, China

Future and the Arts: AI, Robotics, Cities, Life - How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow
🌍 Tokyo (JP)

Occupying the 52nd floor of Tokyo’s Mori Tower, Mori Art Museum is internationally renowned for its visionary approach and highly original curation of contemporary art. The museum’s latest exhibition, Future and the Arts: AI, Robotics, Cities, Life - How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow, is a comprehensive investigation into the near future, a space in which speculation becomes reality for the duration of your visit.

What? A near-future forecast disguised as an exhibition 
When? Now, until 29 March 2020
Where? Mori Art Museum, Tokyo

NATURE
🌍 New York (US) & Kerkrade (NL)

Cube Design Museum in Kerkrade and Cooper Hewitt in New York present the comprehensive exhibition NATURE - in which internationally renowned designers, artists and inventors present their perspective on nature. From biotechnology to datavisualization, from renewable energy to urban farming: NATURE shows the real impact of design and its ability to renew the balance between the born and the man-made.

What? A transatlantic exhibition exploring the future of nature
When? Now, until 19 January 2020
Where? Cooper Hewitt, New York & Cube Design Museum, Kerkrade

AI: More than Human
🌍 Groningen (NL)

What makes us human? And why do we sometimes fear artificial intelligence? And what about technological singularity - the moment in time when artificial intelligence outperforms human intelligence? The increasing yet often invisible implementation of AI in our daily life (think voice assistant and deep-learning algorithms) causes more questions than answers. Should we be defensive or welcome this new technology as part of our human evolution?

What? A travelling exhibition to explore our relationship with AI
When?
Now, until 30 April 2020
Where?
Forum, Groningen

Eco Visionaries
🌍 London (UK)

Meet the 'Eco-Visionaries', these are the architects, artists and designers who respond to some of the most urgent ecological issues of our times - from land degradation to food security and the extinction of endangered species. Each response aims to re-frame our relationship with nature to communicate a new urgency. In short, we need to confront environmental issues. And we need to do it now.

What? An exhibition confronting the planet in a state of emergency
When? Now, until February 23, 2020
Where? Royal Academy of Arts, London

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Whether you're in need of a holiday gift for your techie spouse or tech-adverse grandpa, the truth is, your loved ones deserve better than a generic gift card. Now we understand that selecting the ultimate gift can seem like an enormously daunting task — that is why we've done the heavy lifting for you. The Next Nature gift guide, once again, has got you covered.

For the freshest of farmers: Yeezy algae sneakers

Forget those old crocs, these are the latest to come from Kanye West’s “Yeezy Fashion line” and are a produced from a mixture of  ethylene-vinyl acetate and foam produced from algae. Though still in prototype stage, the sneakers represent a new approach to shoe production. By using hydroponic farming techniques Kanye wants to go from “seed to sole”.

For the early entrepreneur: Unicorn bot building and coding kit

Founders and their precious billion dollar unicorn startups keep getting younger and younger each year. If you know someone with a desire to start their coding career early get them this unicorn that can be programmed to do oh so many things via the Blockly coding app. You can even program the unicorn’s magical horn to any colour you like!

For the self-growing garden enthusiast: The smart garden

When you grow your own food, you not only nourish your body, but you nourish your mind and your spirit from the effort and time spent tending the plants. Unfortunately, not everyone has the outdoor space to create a garden plot, that's where the Click & Grow Smart Garden 9 comes in; a self-growing garden for every home.

For the electromagnetically sensitive: Signalproof coat

While humans have proved good at designing their environments, we have also created an invisible ‘next nature’ that remains unseen and at times unpredictable. This prospect is alarming for some. For the electromagnetically sensitive, this jacket can put you at peace with uncertainty, and take the fear out of exciting new technological developments. A 5G storm is coming, and we want you to look and feel great as you experience it.

For the future Flinstone: Bone Pickers

There is something deeply satisfying about gnawing meat off the bone. So as not to lose this primal pleasure, we offer you these Bone Pickers, made of cultured meat around an ersatz bone scaffold. We are giving you back the joys of chomping and tearing meat of a bone.

For the armchair adventurer: Great outdoor national park candles

You don’t actually have to visit the great outdoors to experience them. Give the gift of smelling some of the natural wonders of the world with these scented candles modeled on locations like Yellowstone, Yosemite Park or Redwood Nationals.

For the gaming gardener: Photosynthesis, the boardgame

Think trees don’t battle it out to become the dominant force within a forest? Well you would be dead wrong! In this thrilling board game players battle for ecological dominance. By Planting and shaping the ever-changing forest you cultivate your seeds and your strategy. Take your trees through their life-cycle, from seedling to full bloom to rebirth, and earn points as their leaves collect energy from the revolving sun’s rays. 

For the fit futurist: Peloton exercise bike

Know someone who wants to be more active next year but can’t brave the cold winter months outside on a bike? Peloton exercise bikes may be the perfect solution with their streamable live classes anyone can stay motivated towards their goals. Just don’t get too carried away with the idea a la black mirror

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We are a network of makers, thinkers, educators and supporters. With members in 44 countries, we are the international network for anyone interested in the debate on our future – in which biology and technology are fusing.

We explore how technology becomes so omnipresent, complex, intimate and autonomous – a nature of its own. We stimulate discussion, initiate publications, events and traveling expositions on how to dream, build and live in the next nature.

That’s a towering goal, and to achieve it, we need talent. Read on for descriptions of the individual opportunities:

Creative Producer EN/NL

We are looking for hands-on talent to handle our mobile exhibitions that travel throughout the Netherlands and abroad. Someone who is highly goal-orientated with the drive to meticulously produce the exhibitions demanded by our client base, has an intrinsic motivation to lead and inspire a team of tour guides, and knows how to properly communicate with our clients during pre-production. Read more.

Editor-in-Chief / Manager Online Magazine EN/NL

We are looking for a strategic talent to further develop our online magazine. Someone who is highly content-driven and holds the ability to create unique content based on the next nature philosophy, who has an ear to the ground for emerging next nature topics and knows how to communicate this to our audience via our online magazine, newsletters and social media. Read more.

Interested?

Apply before 16 August by sending your CV and cover letter to tim[at]nextnature.net, attn. Tim Hoogesteger, Managing Director. For questions about the role, feel free to give us a call at (+31) 20 261 3853.

We will schedule the first round of talks in the week of 19 August 2019.

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Sequels and prequels appear in our cinemas every day but somehow we haven’t had a follow-up to our infamous Next Nature movie top 10 that fully deserves the “sequel treatment”.

Allow us to refresh your memory:

1. Quest for Fire / La Guerre du Feu (1981)
2. Being There (1979)
3. Koyaansiqatsi (1983)
4. Blade Runner (1984)
5. American Beauty (1999)
6.The Matrix (1999)
7. Grizzly Man (2005)
8. Avatar (2009)
9. The Terminal (2004)
10. Idiocracy (2006)

Thus our carefully crafted, not updated yet timeless, always debatable and incomplete list of the ten next nature movies for you to watch.

Now, our top 10 is getting a sequal series, many years on from its completion after bingewatching (ahem, working) for the sake of research.

Is there a movie (2010-present) of which you think deserves a spot in the Next Nature movie top 10, part two? Share your suggestions in the comments below ?

[post_title] => Call for movies: Which movie deserves a spot in the sequal to the Next Nature movie top 10? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => call-for-movies [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-07-09 09:55:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-09 08:55:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=107994 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 6 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 63267 [post_author] => 869 [post_date] => 2016-08-26 16:00:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-26 14:00:43 [post_content] => According to psychologist Martin Seligman: "Social relationships do not guarantee high happiness, but it does not appear to occur without them". Humans are intrinsically social beings. Like Lev Vygotsky, another psychologist, said "We become ourselves through others". Both psychologists point out that social relationships are essential for our development and well-being. Considering the population density today and our social system, it shouldn't be a problem to meet that need for social companionship. Yet somehow loneliness has become one of the major societal issues of today. Is it a matter of one or the other, connectivity versus conviviality?Read the entire Next Nature is... series. [post_title] => What Is Next Nature? #16 [post_excerpt] => Feeling lonely while surrounded with people [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => next-nature-is-feeling-lonely-while-surrounded-with-people [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-10-04 11:00:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-10-04 09:00:01 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=63267 [menu_order] => 100 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 63551 [post_author] => 869 [post_date] => 2016-08-20 10:26:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-20 08:26:40 [post_content] => You need to concentrate or you simply don’t feel like talking? Just plug in your earphones and listen to the sweet sound of silence. There’s probably nothing better to hold talkative people off - without offending or looking antisocial - than simply acting as if you’re enjoying some music. It's a very effective 21st century solution to a 21st century problem. Where to get some quality time with yourself in the midst of our buzzing cities? There's distraction everywhere, wearing earphones creates a bubble of personal space.Read the entire Next Nature is... series. [post_title] => What Is Next Nature? #15 [post_excerpt] => Wearing Earphones without listening to music. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => next-nature-is-wearing-earphones-without-listening-to-music [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-08-20 15:28:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-08-20 13:28:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=63551 [menu_order] => 112 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 63545 [post_author] => 869 [post_date] => 2016-08-12 15:07:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-12 13:07:23 [post_content] => “I’m sliding my finger to the right of the screen to answer the call” is the modern translation of “I’m picking up the phone”. Even to the younger generation, who have never literally picked up or hung up the phone, the contemporary version sounds odd. But hanging up the phone really doesn’t make any sense today. Phrases like "rewinding the tape", "dialing the phone", or "cranking the engine" are called skeuonyms, expressions left over from a technology no longer used.Read the entire Next Nature is... series. [post_title] => What Is Next Nature? #14 [post_excerpt] => Not knowing what hanging up the phone means. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => next-nature-is-not-knowing-what-hanging-up-the-phone-is [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-08-12 15:09:11 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-08-12 13:09:11 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=63545 [menu_order] => 127 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 63543 [post_author] => 869 [post_date] => 2016-08-05 16:00:29 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-05 14:00:29 [post_content] => In some urban areas blackouts are more common than others, but few areas have never underwent one. Anyone who has experienced a blackout is well aware of how dependent we are on electricity. Apparently the Internet cannot function without it! Which means that instant communication is out too. Although most clocks will keep ticking, time itself seems to lose meaning. Without electricity everything stops. The digital world is so thoroughly interwoven with the real world that we forget that software needs working hardware. For an unknown interval we live in a different world where only physical presence matters. As long as it is temporary, it might feel like a breath of fresh air. Hopefully, though, you've pressed the save-button first.Read the entire Next Nature is... series. [post_title] => What Is Next Nature? #13 [post_excerpt] => Feeling as if the world comes to a hold during a blackout. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => next-nature-is-feeling-as-if-the-world-comes-to-a-hold-during-a-black-out [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-08-02 12:26:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-08-02 10:26:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=63543 [menu_order] => 134 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 ))[post_count] => 10 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 126383 [post_author] => 2317 [post_date] => 2020-01-16 12:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-01-16 11:00:00 [post_content] =>

Every day brings fresh and ever more alarming news about the state of the global environment. To speak of mere “climate change” is inadequate now, for we are in a “climate emergency”. It seems as though we are tripping over more tipping points than we knew existed.

But our awareness is at last catching up with the planet’s climate catastrophes. Climate anxiety, climate trauma, and climate strikes are now all part of many people’s mental landscape and daily lives. This is almost four decades after scientists first began to warn of accelerated global warming from carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere.

And so, unsurprisingly, climate fiction, climate change fiction, “cli-fi” – whatever you want to call it – has emerged as a literary trend that’s gained astonishing traction over the past ten years.

Just a decade ago, when I first began reading and researching literary representations of climate change, there was a curious dearth of fiction on the subject. In 2005, the environmental writer Robert Macfarlane had asked plaintively: “Where is the literature of climate change?”. When I went to work in 2009 on one of the first research projects to attempt to answer this question, I found that some climate change novels were only beginning to emerge. Ten years later, the ubiquity of cli-fi means that the question of how many cli-fi novels there are seems irrelevant. Equally irrelevant is any doubt about the urgency of the climate emergency.

But the question of how to deal with such a complex challenge is paramount. The climate emergency demands us to think about our responsibilities on a global scale rather than as individuals, to think about our effects not just on fellow humans but on all the species that call this planet home, and to think about changing the resource-focused, profit-seeking behaviours that have been part of human activity for centuries.

This is where literature comes in. It affords us the headspace in which to think through these difficult and pressing questions.

Cli-fi has a central role in allowing us to do the psychological work necessary to deal with climate change. I am often asked to identify the climate novel that is the most powerful and effective and, just as often, I reply that no one novel can do this. The phenomenon of cli-fi as a whole offers us different ways and a multitude of spaces in which to consider climate change and how we address it.

Here, then, is our list of a range of novels that offer just such a diverse set of perspectives. These books provide readers with a range of thought (and feeling) experiments, from dystopian despair to glimmers of hope, from an awareness of climate change impacts on generations to come to vivid reminders of how we are destroying the many other species that share our planet.

1. The Sea and Summer, 1987

Australian novelist George Turner’s book is one of the earliest examples of cli-fi and is prescient in more ways than one. Set in Melbourne in the 2030s, skyscrapers are drowning due to sea-level rise: a setting for a stark division between the rich and the poor. Like many cli-fi novels, this novel’s dystopian future provides a sophisticated thought experiment on the effects of climate change on our already divided society. Turner’s book deserves to be reread — and reissued — as classic and still relevant cli-fi.

2. Memory of Water, 2012

Water has become a precious commodity in this cli-fi dystopia by Finnish author Emmi Itäranta. In Nordic Europe in the distant future, a young girl must decide whether to share her family’s precious water supply with her friends and fellow villagers and risk being accused of “water crime”, punishable by death. This tender coming-of-age narrative is thus also a meditation on the value of resources taken entirely for granted by the contemporary, westernised reader.

3. The Wall, 2019

At first glance, John Lanchester’s novel could be a comment on the rise of anti-refugee sentiment in Britain. In a not-so-distant future, every inch of British shoreline is guarded by an immense wall, a bulwark against illegal migrants as well as rising sea levels. But through the experiences of a young border guard, the novel shows us how this national obsession with borders not only distracts from the climate emergency at hand; it diminishes our responsibility to fellow humans around the world, whose lives are threatened by climate change and for whom migration is a desperate solution.

4. Clade, 2015

Australian author James Bradley’s novel chronicles several generations of one family in an increasingly devastated world. The day-to-day detail of their lives, as relationships hold together or break apart, unfolds against the backdrop of environmental and thus societal breakdown. The novel contrasts the mundane miscommunications that characterise human relations with the big issue of global warming that could rob future generations of the opportunity to lead meaningful lives.

5. The Stone Gods, 2007

Jeanette Winterson’s stab at cli-fi offers, like Bradley’s novel, a long view. The novel ranges over three vastly different timeframes: a dystopian, future civilisation that is fast ruining its planet and must seek another; 18th-century Easter Island on the verge of destroying its last tree; and a near-future Earth facing global environmental devastation. As readers time travel between these stories, we find, again and again, the damage wrought by human hubris. Yet, the novel reminds us, too, of the power of love. In the novel, love signifies an openness to other humans and other species, to new ideas, and to better ways of living on this planet.

6. The Swan Book, 2013

This novel by indigenous Australian author Alexis Wright is unconventional, fable-like cli-fi. Its protagonist is a young indigenous girl whose life is devastated by climate change but most of all by the Australian government’s mistreatment of its indigenous populations. Weaving indigenous belief with biting satire, Wright’s novel is a celebration of her people’s knowledge of how to live with nature, rather than in exploitation of it.

7. Flight Behaviour, 2012

Unlike the other novels on this list, this one, by Barbara Kingsolver, is a realist novel set entirely in the present day. A young woman from Tennessee stumbles upon thousands of monarch butterflies roosting on her in-laws’ land, the insects having been thrown off course by extreme weather events brought about by climate change.

From the scientists who come to study the problem, she learns of the delicate balance that is needed to keep the butterflies on course. Kingsolver’s rich descriptions of an impoverished Appalachian community are combined with her biologist’s training, so that reader empathy is eventually shifted from the likeable heroine to the natural wonder that is the butterflies. We are reminded of how climate change risks not simply human comfort but the planet’s ecological complexity.

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