On Cli-Fi


I don’t see our dark and apocalyptic disappearance from the earth, but rather a (much sooner) devolution. Basically, over-consumption and extreme weather, denial, and a lack of will to make any changes, leading to a post-oil pioneer future…

That’s in fact the setting for my YA cli-fi series, AFTER THE WORLD. Phones/cars/internet/school/best friend―it’s all gone. 15-year-old KATHLEEN “K-T” WILSON’s plan was to track down some other Gen Z’s to maybe help salvage this climate-messed world, but her little sister, MIDGIE, just ran away looking for a bedtime-story past that no longer exists.

Now Job One is to find Midgie (plus any remnants of hope K-T might be able to scrounge somewhere along the devastated road). And after that? Also hopefully locate KEVIN CASTIGLIONE-SANGHA, who might possibly still be her boyfriend.

It’s interesting the wild (and wholly realistic) variations in cli-fi – in Susan Beth Pfeffer’s “Last Survivors” series, the over-the-edge event is an asteroid hitting the moon, and in both Paolo Bacigalupi’s “The Water Knife” and Neal and Jarrod Shusterman’s “Dry”, we’re talking the desperation born of drought. Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” strides immediate into the emotional repercussions, and Barbara Kingsolver’s “Flight Behavior” lyrically symbolizes the issue through its effect on Monarch butterflies.

Whatever the plot, the most thought-provoking climate fiction simply paints its own version of a climate-changed world, exploring through characters who have no alternative where we go from here, how we are to survive, and what we take from all of this. The story to follow may speak both of disaster and, one trusts, of blessing ~