Danny Bloom
I seek the truth wherever it lies.

‘Cli-Fi’ Beach Reads for the Sizzling Summer of 2017 A.D. (Anno Donaldo)

Things are heating up, hotting up, warming up. Record heat waves are hitting parts of India, North America and Europe. This is all just a cosmic teaser for things to come in the next 30 generations of man.

I spent the summer of 1969 in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem while travelling through Europe, including weeklong stops in the Moscow, Teheran and Athens. I was young then, and I will never be young again.

It was a different world then and nobody talked about global warming or climate change or melting Arctic sea ice or, God forbid, ”climate refugees.” That was then, this is now.

Well, no matter your age today, young or old, teenager or old fogey, it’s the summer of 2017 wherever you are in the northern hemisphere. It’s winter in Australia and New Zealand, of course, since God created the Earth with two hemispheres long ago just to show that he is cosmic jester he is.

So what are your ”beach reads” for this summer? Michael Svoboda, an English professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., has compiled a summer reader list of important cli-fi novels from 2014 to 2017 for the Yale Climate Connections website, and he lists over 30 notable climate-themed novels worth digging into at the beach.

The Earth is warming up, and there’s no end in sight. By 2050, who knows? By 3017, a thousand years from now, what it be like then? So find a book or two to probe the emotional pangs of global warming impact events in the near future and see what you can figure out in your own mind.

Welcome to the new literary genre of cli-fi; it’s not your grandfather’s sci-fi, and Professor Svoboda explains why.

“‘Cli-fi,’ or ‘climate fiction,’ is a genre of fiction that transforms climate science into human stories,” he writes. “The genre’s authors explore what it means to be human in a world beset by warming temperatures, intense storms, and rising seas, and they speculate on how people might continue their quests for love, joy, and meaning in the midst of extreme difficulties.”

We seem to be skating on thin ice in these warming times. Is anyone paying attention?

About the Author
Danny Bloom is editor of The Cli-Fi Report at www.cli-fi.net. Danny graduated from Tufts University in Boston in 1971 with a major in Yiddish Literature. A newspaper editor and reporter since his days in Alaska, Japan and Taiwan, he has lived and worked in 14 countries and speaks French, Japanese and Chinese. He hopes to live until 2032, when his tombstone will read "I came, I saw, I ate cho-dofu."