Isaac Cordel’s Follow the Leaders — “the collapse of capitalism and the side effects of progress.”
Cli-Fi is the Real, as sci-fi passes into memory, a capitalist anachronism, exhausted by a self-fulfilling mass extinction.
Mass extinction’s mother tongue, cli-fi speaks of narratives which nations have manufactured for millennia to re(de)fine nature. As they are constructed and discarded, on an astronomically lucky paradise melting beyond contemporary understanding, and reproducing turbulent new abnormals.
Since calling it out at Wired and more in 2009, I’ve since written of cli-fi’s power to reshape how humanity will respond, perhaps survive, the catastrophe it has created.
I’ve picked the brains and probed the hearts of Margaret Atwood, William Gibson, Alan Moore, and (many) more visionaries and scientists and (many) more exploring the triumphs and failures of our master narratives, upstart subtexts, and (un)settled science, from the fringe to The Force.
And now I am writing the book on it.
The Technocratic Exhaustion
Anchored to the universal principle that everything is connected, cli-fi blossoms from the failure of science and its fiction, as both degrade through technocracy’s lethal translation.
The Heat Death of Sci-Fi
“I like exact labeling,” Margaret Atwood told me, as I probed proper terminology. “Sci-fi is that which we’re probably not going to see.”
The Patriarchal Annihilation
Privileging wars of the worlds and its warriors, from Dr. Strangelove and The Fog of War‘s mad scientist Robert McNamara and beyond, science and its industry have rarely met an annihilation they didn’t love to death.
Global Warming is (the) Real
With the ascendance of climate science and crisis, humanity has at last, perhaps too late, crunched the exponentially horrific data of our terrorized present and dystopian future. And there’s no back button.
Mother Tongue, Glacial Eye
Climate fiction transmits beyond art and science to re-enchant and resituate our destabilized Earth, and its earthlings, anchoring an epochal evolution to the planet itself, not just dreams of the stars.
Earth National Park!
From David Brower’s radical concept to Half-Earth and Land Back, encompassing decelerations like degrowth and deconsumption, as well as accelerations like reforestation and rewiliding, from the masterpieces of Hayao Miyazaki to the future industries of Elon Musk. Then, what comes next.