62 Cli-Fi Ruminations
February 12, 2016

If you follow the hashtag #clifi on Twitter, for this rising literary genre of cli-fi (climate change fiction) you’ll find a growing

Dan Bloom

Dan Bloom

number of fans, and among those who tweet about the topic, is the father of cli-fi himself – Dan Bloom, based in Taiwan. Bloom is often credited with coining the term cli-fi around about 2007, and launched a viral meme onto the internet, and beyond, with his efforts to popularize and publicize the term.

Well flash-forward a few years and a Google search will show you hundreds of links and articles about the term cli-fi and more and more writers penning books in the genre. Bloom has also extended the cli-fi description to cover film, setting up the Cliffies, an annual award for cli-fi films.

My own first book In Ark: A Promise of Survival is cli-fi. So I’ve been supporting the rise, and rise, of cli-fi and think the term, and those participating in it all, is a great idea to distinguish this type of fiction. But I am not the one to explain or define what cli-fi is all about. For that, I like to hear the ideas of cli-fi’s number one advocate.

On Twitter, Bloom has shared many of his cli-fi musings, and compiled a list of them for me to share with you here on my blog. You can also find him, and his list of cli-fi thoughts on his own blog here. Below, please find his 62, zen-like, cli-fi ruminations:

​• Cli-fi isn’t a marketing term or a bookstore shelving category, and it’s more than a literary term. It’s a password into the future and those who know it, know.

  • ​Cli-fi is more than a genre term, much more than that: it’s a code word, a password, a secret handshake; it is bringing us together as one
  • ​ #CliFi is not for you or your children or grandkids, no. It’s codeword for future generations, as yet unborn. And born they shall be. In next 30 generations.​
  • Cli-Fi cannot, will not, save us from what’s coming. Too late for that. But it’s here, now, always. We have 30 generations to prepare. See?
  • In the future, come 30 more generations of man, there will be no #CliFi. By 2500 A.D. (Anthrocenus Deflexus)it will be too late
  • People want cli-fi to offer solutions, comfortable happy fixes. Aint gonna happen. We are ”doomed, doomed” as a species, and we did it to ourselves.

​• Cli-Fi cannot, will not, save us from what’s coming. Too late for that. But it’s here, now, always. We have 30 generations to prepare. There’s time.

​• Cli-fi won’t make much of a difference either way you define it. It’s just here, now, beckoning future writers. It’s not sci-fi, never was

  • Cli-fi is more than a mere genre: it’s a cri de coeur, a warning flare, a pathway to the future before it’s too late. See? #CliFi’s here now​
  • If the rising new literary term “cli-fi” makes you ‘cringe’ at first sight or hearing, don’t give up on it yet. With time, you will come to see it for what it is.
  • ​ Cli-fi is not sci-fi, it is not eco-fiction, it is not subgenred to anything earlier. #CliFi is a hashtag burning its stamp into our very skin, as we prepare.
  • ​Cli-fi is more than a genre term, much more than that: it’s a code word, a password, a secret handshake; it is bringing us together as one.
  • Cli-fi wasn’t just a case of slapping a new name on an old genre. It’s much deeper and existential than that. Think game-changer, new directions.
  • We’ll never make it out of here alive. That’s cli-fi in a nutshell. Man the lifeboats, prepare to test the seas of one season after the next.
  • Cli-fi defines a line the sands of time that no man can cross without trepidation or reverence. There’s a reason we are here. What is it?
  • If cli-fi is one thing, it’s a chance to choose our future. One door leads here, another door leads there. Choose wisely: Your descendants are waiting.
  • There’s a tragic flaw in our genes, a selfish shellfish that doesn’t want to share. This DNA will be our downfall. This Earth shall abide.
  • Cli-fi doesn’t choose sides. We do. Choose your weapon, use it wisely. We are here by the grace of God, and someday we won’t be. God knows.
  • You could say that in a post-sci-fi world, cli-fi has come to rescue us from oblivion. Not true. No way.
  • You might not really be interested in cli-fi, or where it is going. But trust me, cli-fi is interested in you. Why? Becos the End is nigh
  • When all is said and done, cli-fi points in only one direction. It’s for everyone to find it on their own. ON THE BEACH from 1957 has clues.
  • Cli-fi is not about who coined it or who popularized it. It’s about much more pressing things, like how many more generations before the End?
  • I never met a future I didn’t like. No, that can’t be true. Some futures spell the end of humankind. It’s in the cards. Choose your exit.
  • Cli-fi is neither pro nor con. It just is. Take your pick. Choose yr sides. We are at war w/ a future that threatens all futures. Arise!
  • Cli-fi is so much a part of this world that on first hearing the word or seeing it in print, it slips right by, invisble, unnoticed.
  • If by some remote chance you find yourself reading a cli-fi novel without realizing it’s cli-fi, you have arrived.
  • There are are still 30 generations to be born before the real apocalypse begins. This now is just a rehearsal. An audition.
  • Cli-fi leads to a meeting of the minds, borderless, rudderless, unconsolable. Will we get there on time?
  • If you think time is running out, or has already run out, in terms of the unspeakable cli-fi future we face, you are very close to solving the riddle. Why are we here?
  • I don’t want to sound pessimistic, as optimism must abound and console us. But listen to the wind, hear the chimes sing, ring.
  • Cli-fi has a place in our hearts and minds, now and forever. But forever is no longer forever. We sold the farm.
  • Cli-fi can, and will, shine a light on the darkness that is about to befall us. Let’s stick together and shoulder the burden.
  • You didn’t know cli-fi was coming. Nobody did. It’s taken us by surprise.
  • There will be days when cli-fi is beyond us, unscoutable, undetected. All the more reason to pay attention.
  • Cli-fi doesn’t mean resignation or giving in to the darkness ahead. To the contrary, it means taking up arms.
  • If a time shall come when all else fails, cli-fi may just come to the rescue. Make room.
  • Cli-fi cannot answer all our questions or undo the deeds we have done. No. But she can unburden us of our fears.
  • There will come a time when there is no time left. That’s where, and when, cli-fi comes in.
  • Who will write the cli-fi of the future? They will be legion, legends. Welcome them.
  • Cli-fi is more than a mere genre term, much more than a literary term. It’s a battle cry, a cri decoeur, a shout-out to future generations: “We tried to warn you!”
  • Think positive, think cli-fi. Think future generations, think now. Think the end is nigh unless we change our ways.
  • There is no way out of here, said the sailors to the sun. Thirty more generations is all we have left. What then?
  • Ploddingly, one step at a time, we are marching to future days. Cli-fi cannot stop the deluge, yet we must not surrender. Never.
  • With sea levels rising in future times, Nature has been turned on its head. Cli-fi paints a picture, sight unseen.
  • If we could see CO2, smell it, know that is there, over-loaded, we might be able to put out the fires. But it is invisible, odorless.
  • Whatever generation you belong to, know in your heart that there is no way out of here. Nature has spoken, Earth recoils. Write on.
  • To show respect to the Earth, which is our home in the cosmos, please always capitalize the word as ”Earth.” Earth matters, tell the copy desk. Lowercasing it is beneath us.
  • Cli-fi cannot, will not, lead the way. This is a clean-up action, and way too late. But it matters nevertheless.
  • One cannot see the future, cli-fi is blind. But the stories we tell will matter, even if it is all for naught.
  • Cli-fi, by indirection finds direction out. Your words on the page must be balanced, insistent. Always. And never lose hope.
  • Not doomed yet? What will it take to connect the dots? Not doomed yet? Some overly-rosy displays of optimism in print could be seen as pathological.
  • As humans, ike all life forms, we are hardwired and programmed to believe that the near future will be similar to the recent past. Our Achilles heel, so to speak.
  • Cli-fi won’t solve our problems, and can’t undo what’s done. Fasten your seatbelts. This is a ride to Hell.
  • Climate change is more than a fact of life. It is the result of human ingenuity, greed, rapaciousness and fear. Fear not: cli-fi is here. Write it.
  • I came to the table naive and unquestioning. I left totally convinced there will be dead people, lots of dead people. That was the genesis of cli-fi.
  • You might not want to go down the cli-fi road, and that’s okay. It’s not a pretty picture, not a happy selfie. It’s disaster, writ large.
  • In the long and rambling history of humankind, cli-fi will be just a blip on the radar screen. Pay it no heed.
  • You weren’t born yesterday. Your descendants may not even be born at all, ever.   That’s how unfathomable cli-fi is.
  • If you can manage to fit the personal stories of cli-fi between the covers of a book, do it. With trepidation. Know your audience.
  • Cli-fi will have no denouement, no act three, no happy ending, no Greek chorus, no social media take-away. Push send.
  • Sorry, but this is how cli-fi is going to be, in the Anthropocene. Just 12 letters spelling doom.
  • I wish there was some cli-fi way out of here, but there ain’t. Ain’t ain’t ain’t. Ain’t ain’t ain’t times, ten thousand times ain’t.
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As a self-taught artist, a writer, and a publicist – I welcome you to my creative online hub, where you’ll get to see some of my works, and find out more about me.