Friday, March 23, 2018

Burning Worlds is Amy Brady’s monthly column dedicated to examining trends in climate fiction, or “cli-fi"

Burning Worlds is Amy Brady’s monthly column dedicated to examining trends in climate fiction, or “cli-fi,” in partnership with Yale Climate Connections.
Across the country, and indeed around the world, college instructors are adding works of climate fiction to their syllabi. See AP article in 2016 headlined: "Colleges add cli-fi to their classroom curriculums."

To discover more about which books are being taught, and what kinds of questions they’re inspiring in the classroom, Dr. Brady reached out to Elizabeth Rush, a visiting lecturer in English at Brown University — where she recently taught a climate fiction class. 

The works that Rush teaches in her climate fiction course vary widely in style and content. That’s because the world they represent is so wide-ranging: “Cli-Fi is undoubtedly tied to a set of contemporary anxieties about human beings and their relationship with the environment and technology,” Rush wrote in her syllabus.
Her syllabus also outlined a set of fascinating questions that frame her course: “What…does it mean that [''cli-fi''] has one foot firmly placed in the present tense? How can we distinguish [''cli-fi''] from its predecessors? And in what ways does fiction create an imagined world that gives voice to resistance now?”
This focus on not only climate fiction’s reflection on–but its influence of–the present moment suggests that the genre has a social purpose that goes beyond mere entertainment. That’s an inspiring—if robust—view of what literature can do, and one that Dr Brady hopes to continue investigating in her future Cli-Fi Trends columns.
Dr Brady asked Rush to recommend some of her favorite works of ''cli-fi'' (novels and short stories) to both read and teach—and to explain why she chose them. Her responses are in this link below:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

KSR in Germany interview on the rise of cli-fi

German interview: You mean, when we are more interested in the history of science fiction, .....

KSR -- Exactly. Every few years, mainstream literary critics in America ane the UK rediscover that many readers are interested, and very much so, in science fiction. And what often happens is the coinage of a new genre label. In the 1980s it was "Cyperpunk" literature. Now it is "Cli-Fi".

However, many critics of your book see it as a response to a much-discussed complaint of the American writer Amitav Gosh. He has, in the last few years, prominently complained that in "serious literature" -- literary fiction -- the topic of climate change is left entirely to the science fiction.

KSR -- i think gosh is course an outstanding writer, but I have read some interviews with him, and I have to say: The basic assumption, there would be a meaningful separation between "serious literature" and "genre novels" such as  science fiction, I feel that this is an insult. 

What Gosh and many others do not understand is that the climate change also very difficult with the means of a conventional novel. The British literary theorist Timothy Morton has coined the concept of hyperobject - things are too large and too complex to be able to still be thought of as things. For me, climate change is such a hyper object. It takes place in time and space dimensions instead, which would not be on the limits of human imagination, and is therefore not to describe in a genre that traditionally has focused only on between human. The history of the science fiction provides me with the right tool for the job. Long before anyone ever spoken by climate change, authors such as J.G. Ballard and John Brunner recognized that our planet can play an active role in a story

Monday, March 12, 2018

Says a writer in USA:

''Yeah, I think cli-fi began retrospectively and cuts across genres.''

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Chimo! (with an amazing and uncanny photo surprise at the end of the story)

The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Tom Douglas

Tom Douglas, pictured above, right, is a veteran journalist and book author in Canada and he's always good for an interesting story. He recently signed one of his emails to me with the salutation of "Chimo!" after I had signed my email with "Cheers".

Having never heard of CHIMO! before, since I never lived in Canada, I asked Tom to explain the term to this New England Yankee. In internet time, he replied with a good story and an uncanny surprise photo to boot!

Hi Dan,

Regarding the salutation Chimo! I don't know if you're aware of it but during Canada's Centennial in 1967, the organizers of the major commemorative events tried to get Chimo! used as a distinctive Canadian toast like Cheers! and Skoal. 

It never really caught on but I've been using it when toasting or writing friends from time to time ever since. 

I was on a Rhine River cruise in Germany a few years ago and was telling some new-found American friends on board the tourist boat....about the tradition. They also had never heard of it. 

The word apparently is Inuit ....and is used by strangers among the Inuit people. When encountering another person for the first time, an Inuit hunter allegedly rubs his chest and says "Chimo?" which means: "Are you friendly?" 

If the other party IS friendly, he will rub HIS chest and reply: "Chimo!" 

Anyway, believe it or not, just as I was relating this story on deck......

....... a Rhine River barge passed by. And luckily,  I had my camera at hand because otherwise you might not believe what the name on the barge was...''

Take a look!



Tom was an elementary schoolteacher (valedictorian at Teachers' College) in his home town of Sault Ste. Marie at the start of his  working life. He adds: "Then I got posted to Metz, France as assistant to the business administrator for Department of National Defence Schools Overseas (Canadian military personnel posted abroad for a four-year tour are allowed to take their families with them - ergo the need for Canadian schools offshore). I also taught journalism at a community college in Oshawa, Ontario. In addition, I go into elementary and secondary schools to speak to students (also service clubs) about Canada's military heritage. In 2012 I was awarded the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for my work on behalf of honouring (Canadian spelling!) our veterans. ''

''Yes, Dan, you can use the story on your blog with the photo. You might even want to mention the link to the Rhine River cruise story'':

'Questions for the Limestone Madonna'' -- a poem by John Lane in the USA, with a photo and a translation in French by sci-fi author Yann Quero in France

A photo captioned "The Madonna of Global Warming" by French author Yann Quero who took the picture a few years ago in northwestern France near the coast and who translated the poem below into French. Scroll down.

Questions for
the Limestone

A poem by John Lane, 2018

If geology
is gospel, 
will you 
saves us? 

If geology 
is religion,
are you bedrock,
though softer
than granite? 

If geology 
is scripture,
then how 
are we to 
read your 

If geology 
is to Son
as madonna
is to God, 
then are 
you the 
of time? 

On this
soluble rock
we build.


'Questions for the Limestone Madonna'' -- a poem by John Lane in the USA, with a photo by sci-fi writer Yann Quero in France who took the photo above. Web-packaged by Dan Bloom in Taiwan.


Questions pour une Madone de pierre

Si la géologie est un chant de Dieu,
nous sauveras-tu ?

Si la géologie est une religion,
en es-tu le socle, bien que moins dur que le granit ?

Si la géologie est écriture sainte,
alors comment pouvons-nous lire ta face altérée ?

Si la géologie est au Fils, ce que la Vierge est à Dieu,
Alors es-tu le pardon du temps ?

Sur cette pierre friable,
nous batissons.

AFTER THE GREAT ACCELERATION -- a poem by John Lane in English text with Chinese translation

from ''Anthropocene Blues,'' a book of poems
by John Lane

UPDATE: See also bonus poem:
''Questions for the limestone Madonna''


The Hotel Milan, Zhangzhou City, [China PRC]

There were sheer curtains with no exit to the East
There tables of blue marble, and the rooms had shag
The color of  coral. The toothpicks had holes in the middle.

There was a place called Freedom right down the blog
There was a place of infinite  allegories to the West
There was a place ending in exceptions known only to the locals
There was a place, but it was lost to green tea , export grade
There was a place at the feet of a thousand styrene Buddhas


The Hotel Milan, Zhangzhou

有桌 , 房間有綠色的地毯
珊瑚的顏色。 牙籤的有孔的中間。

人們有一個無限  向西方
有一位當地人 , 但輸給綠茶、出口級