If you’re a regular reader of my monthly Burning Worlds column, then you’re already familiar with climate fiction, or “cli-fi,”—novels, short stories, and poetry that address climate change. But if you aren’t sure where to start with the genre, consider picking up the new—and free—cli-fi anthology, Everything Change: Volume II. (The first volume can be downloaded here, also for free).
Published by the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University, the collection features ten stories from writers around the world, and a forward written by sci-fi giant Kim Stanley Robinson (New York 2140), who also served as a judge.
“Robinson is a leading thinker on marshaling technology and human cooperation to achieve both sustainability and social justice,” said Joey Eschrich, an editor at the anthology, via email when asked why they chose Robinson to write the forward.
The stories were chosen by a panel of judges in a process that spanned “five rounds and [involved] people with expertise in areas ranging from creative writing and genre fiction to environmental science and public policy,” Eschrich said. On the panel were Paul Hirt, Hilairy Harnett, and Manjana Milkoreit, who are all either current or former affiliates of the Global Institute of Sustainability.
This panel of interdisciplinary thinkers and writers led to a collection that’s diverse in both voice and style, a sign that “cli-fi” has become a cross-genre phenomenon that extends beyond hard science fiction. The stories incorporate current climate science and include characters and landscapes from around the globe. “We were looking for stories that reflect current scientific thinking about climate change…and invite reflection on climate-related challenges or decisions that individuals, organizations, or societies face today, or will face soon,” said Eschrich. “Crucially, we also wanted stories that make climate change visceral and immediate by rooting its effects in specific places and human lives…that are being transformed and deformed by it.”
Later this spring, the Center plans to release another free, ebook-only anthology on the future of clean and renewable energy. The book will include four original sci-fi stories, each accompanied by a response essay.
FICTION – SCI-FI STORIES
Everything Change: Volume II
Edited by Angie Dell and Joey Eschrich
Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative
Published January 29, 2019
Amy Brady is the Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago Review of Books and Deputy Publisher of Guernica Magazine. Her writing has appeared in Oprah, The Village Voice, Pacific Standard, The New Republic, McSweeney's, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter at @ingredient_x.