Danny Bloom
I seek the truth wherever it lies.

Neal Shusterman’s new dystopian ‘cli-fi’ novel ‘Dry’ set for October release

Yes, you read right: Neal Shusterman’s new cli-fi novel for Young Adults (YA genre) is set for an October 2018 release by his longtime publisher Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing company.

“Dry” explores what would happen if the United States ran out of water. Sound familiar? Droughts in California, Colorado. Capetown in South Africa running out of water now as we speak? Cli-fi is in the air, and now it’s on the ground, too, where future droughts will get worse and worse over time.

So Shusterman’s novel, which he co- wrote with his son Jarrod for young readers as a both a wake up call and warning, is a good example of YA cli-fi, a new literary genre for young people.

The book, a dystopian climate change story that also contains hope and the promise of a better world, was co-written with his son Jarrod Shusterman, and it follows Alyssa, a teenage girl living in California during an extreme drought, which everyone in the book calls “the flow crisis,” and then “the Tap-Out.”

“That’s what the media’s been calling the drought, ever since people got tired of hearing the word ‘drought,'” Alyssa explains in the novel. “Kind of like the way ‘global warming’ became ‘climate change,’ and ‘war’ became ‘conflict.’ But now they’ve got a new catchphrase. A new stage in our water woes. They’re calling this the ‘Tap-Out.'”

SEE ALSO: Neal Shusterman accepts a national ”NBA” literary award in an emotional 5-minute video.

The story continues is a tragic way: when Arizona and Nevada pull out of a vital reservoir relief deal that brings some of the country’s scarce water supply to Southern California, Alyssa and her community are left dry.

“Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbors and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive,” the book notes.

Of course, it’s hard not to see parallels between the plight of ”Dry” says MJ as Mashable and the environmental disasters in our current news cycle. In 2017, Southern California faced historic wildfires that decimated a milion acres of land. The rapid spread of those wildfires aided by years of drought. And Flint, Michigan, still doesn’t have clean water, did you hear? And this almost four years after it was revealed that the city’s water was heavily contaminated with lead in 2014.

”Dry,” which is not a dry book at all, and which will leave your eyes feeling wet with tears, doesn’t come out until Oct. 2.

About the Author
Dan Bloom curates The Cli-Fi Report at He graduated from Tufts University in Boston in 1971 with a major in Modern Literature. A newspaper editor and reporter since his days in Washington, D.C., Juneau, Alaska, Tokyo, Japan and Taipei, Taiwan, he has lived and worked 5 countries and speaks rudimentary French, Japanese and Chinese. He hopes to live for a few more years.