Rolling Stone

HOT GENRE CLI-FI

Everyone’s writing about the end of the world. Go figure

- PATRICK REIS

The first big reveal of Tenet, Christophe­r Nolan’s sci-fi blockbuste­r, is that future generation­s are using time travel to wage war on us. The second big reveal is that it’s “because their oceans rose and their rivers ran dry,” an agent of the future explains.

Tenet isn’t exactly climate fiction, a.k.a. “cli-fi,” but climate change is the backdrop for the entire plot — an increasing­ly common trend. Cli-fi’s genre creep can be seen in such recent stories as HBO’s The Head,

a whodunit set against an Antarctic climate-science expedition, and in highbrow literary fare like Amitav Ghosh’s Gun Island. Climate even snuck in as a theme in Benh Zeitlin’s 2020 Peter Pan reimaginin­g, Wendy.

The threat of climate change “has become such a part of our daily lives that, of course, it’s part of our creative lives too,” says Alison Stine, whose new book, Trashlands, is set in an

Appalachia­n strip club after sealevel rise redraws the coastline.

Climate change is no longer a “what if,” says Daniel Abraham, co-writer of The Expanse, a book series set in a post-climatecol­lapse future where humans have colonized the solar system: “We know that climate change is going to happen. Any vision of the future that doesn’t include that starts seeming implausibl­e.”

 ??  ?? The Camp Fire tearing through Northern California, November 2018
The Camp Fire tearing through Northern California, November 2018

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