Episode 33:

The Rise of Cli-Fi: Climate Change Science Fiction – A podcast with Art Critic Dr. Amy Brady

Guest: Dr. Amy Brady

Broadcast March 6, 2017

Episode 33: In episode 33 of America Adapts, Doug Parsons talks “Cli-Fi” with Dr. Amy Brady, Senior Editor with the Chicago Review of Books.  Amy just debuted a monthly column dedicated specifically to cli-fi called “Burning Worlds.” Doug and Amy cover such diverse topics as:

  • CLI FI – What is Cli-Fi? Learn the history of this emerging genre of fiction.
  • BURNING WORLDS – Amy describes her new monthly column focusing on this emerging field and what she hopes to accomplish with the column.
  • AUTHOR AS CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIVIST – Amy explains the backgrounds of various Cli-Fi authors and how some see their role as inspiring readers to take action on climate change.
  • SCIENCE FICTION OR HIGH ART – Since Cli Fi is such a new area of fiction, it’s unclear if it’s considered just another form of science fiction, or something else. Doug and Amy discuss the controversies associated with the genre.
  • SCIENCE OR SCIENCE FICTION – Doug and Amy discuss the use of sound science in writing Cli-Fi and what responsibilities authors feel in using science in writing fiction.
  • NUCLEAR AGE VERSUS THE CLIMATE AGE – Doug and Amy discuss the parallels between the nuclear age of the 50s and 60s and how that drove science fiction writing and how climate change will influence literature.
  • SCENARIO PLANNING WITH FICTION WRITERS – Doug and Amy discuss the possibility of fiction writers joining adaptation planners and scientists in the scenario planning process, relying on their creative talents to create a likely future scenario.
  • GRAPES OF WRATH – Amy argues that John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath was the original Cli-Fi novel.
  • MUST READ CLI FI AUTHORS – Amy gives her suggestions on Cli Fi authors. She identifies books for new readers or for the robust consumers of fiction.

Additional Segment (starts at 55:45 into podcast):  Dr. Molly Cross(previous guest!) and Darren Long from the Wildlife Conservation Society come on for a short discussion to promote the call for proposals for the Adaptation Fund, one of the first granting programs focusing on climate adaptation. They discuss deadlines, strategies for applying and examples of previous grantees. We also briefly discuss the Atlanta Falcons historic collapse in the Super Bowl (Darren is a big Falcons fan).

Additional Resources:

Dr. Amy Brady

Burning World Column


Cli Fi resources:

http://cli-fi.net/ and eco-fiction.com.

Essays that provide quick overviews of the genre:



Anti Cli-Fi:  emerging as a conservative rebuttal to clifi’s more progressive stance on climate change:


Wildlife Conservation Society’s Adaptation Fund


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