Some Like it Hot

by Marie B.

Well, the sun has set on another Pacific Northwest summer.  Some years we’re lucky to have two weeks of warmish weather all season long, but we had a good run in 2019.  While I enjoy the warm days, the mercury can only rise so high before it gets to be too hot for me.  My personal tipping point is about 80.  I know, I know.  Some people aren’t bothered by high temperatures at all.  Still, cooler summers is one of the reasons I love living here.  But…

Is it hot in here?


Whether you call it climate change or global warming, scientists have been warning of the consequences of increases in Earth’s overall temperature for decades.  In thinking about how Earth might look in the future, most agree that hotter summers are on the horizon.  Have you ever wondered how things might be if the worst-case scenario came to fruition?  There are plenty of nonfiction works covering the subject from a variety of perspectives.  That’s all well and good, but what if you prefer reading fiction?  Well, this is your lucky day because living in a world drastically altered by climate change is the basic premise of Climate Fiction, or Cli-Fi.

Cli-Fi is sort of an offshoot of Science Fiction, but it can also fit well under the Apocalyptic or Dystopian Fiction umbrella.  Regardless, it makes for compelling reading.  Cool fact:  although the climate is central to setting the stage in cli-fi, the novels in this sub-genre could easily stand on their myriad other merits.  Oh, and fear not, dear reader.  Cli-Fi is not all doom and gloom.  You can also encounter hope and humor, sentient blobs and thoughtful humans, and incredible world-building.  But let’s get back to doom and gloom for a moment…

Dying for a Drink

What would happen if water became so scarce that entire regions were unable to obtain even minimal amounts of this life-sustaining fluid?  Nothing good.  In The Water Knife by Paulo Bacigalupi, providing access to water is a lucrative business.  Some communities are secure because they have systems that recycle water for a limitless supply.  Others are dependent on central supply sources.  One day the pumps run dry.  Three people with vastly different perspectives on the crisis are thrown together in their pell-mell race to ensure no one goes thirsty in this graphically violent, intense thriller about need, greed, politics, and humanity.

Thirsty for more?

I’ve put together a list of cli-fi titles for your consideration.  What books have you read that fit into this category?  Please share your recommendations in the comments below.

Some Like it Hot



Leave a reply (comments are moderated before posting)