Cli-Fi? In Which I Yearn for a Long-Gone 1970s Disaster Novel

I was reading this, which talks interestingly about a passionate debunker (were you looking for a new hobby?), and it mentioned that this debunker likes to read cli-fi. No, I didn't know what it was, but the piece helpfully explained that Cli-Fi is sci-fi about climate change.

Long-time readers (and concerned friends and family members) know that I'm—well, let's say, a little too interested in the weather. This has long been true, I promise you, and not just in these climate-addled times.

But now? We live in New York, and I took this photograph on Christmas Day, on the way home from the movies.


Apologies all around for the poor focus, but you get the picture, right? (Ow, sorry about that.) We are now living in a Cli-Fi novel, which is by turns, horrifying, scary, and very comfortable physically. Either that or my whole world has has been summarily moved to California without my knowledge or consent.

So I have two questions for you:

1) Has anyone heard of/seen/found the 1970s novel Ice (yes, I've spoken of it before), about the coming of the next ice age told in good-old 70s disaster movie style? There's a weather scientist? A kid who's obsessed with science? An anthropologist mom who studies the tribes of the far north? Anyone at all? Oh, how I long to read it again! [Note and fair warning: this is not a great novel, at least in my memory, just one that made a deep and strange impression on me.]

2) Are any of you reading great/good/interesting/moving things about the weather and the world these days? Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, what-have-you? I know "Chive" on the above-referenced post mentioned Kim Stanley Robinson. Are there others you like or love? Put them in the comments if you are willing!

3) Oh, and happy new year!


Update: I found it! It is this. It was only 15 pages of search items in! It is on its way to me right now! Oh, internet, you're not so bad after all.

7 thoughts on “Cli-Fi? In Which I Yearn for a Long-Gone 1970s Disaster Novel

  1. The last pure cli-fi novel I read was the 2015 book The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. I didn’t LOVE it, but I think that is because I was expecting SF (which is what it was being billed as) and what I got was near future political thriller fiction. After I had some time to reflect on the book, I actually liked it better. I would recommend it to someone wanting to read a good climate thriller, because it’s all about water, and honestly, I think it’s scary and very realistic.


  2. I’m that passionate debunker you read about in Casey cep’s Pacific standard piece. Cli fi is my real work. Let’s, chat danbloom@gmail


  3. I’m that passionate debunker you read about in Casey cep’s Pacific standard piece. Cli fi is my real work. Let’s, chat danbloom at gmail


  4. Try The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard — the ice caps have melted and most of the world is submerged. It’s more than a genre novel — it’s real literary fiction.


  5. Well, since you mentioned John D. MacDonald in the following post and since I too read my dad’s stash of these and enjoyed them, have you read MacDonald’s Condominium? It is not really about climate, more about inevitable Florida hurricanes and corruption, but it might scratch your itch.
    On a much more recent note, my son got Kate Messner’s Eye of the Storm recently and I read the whole thing when I only meant to read a chapter or two. It’s a realistic dystopian future where climate change leads to constant, gigantic tornadoes, and some days it feels pretty realistic.


  6. What about Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling? Definitely a dystopia not ecotopia. Its centred on a storm chasing community, so most of the characters are also very weather obsessed.


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