Resources/forums for aspiring climate fiction (cli-fi) writers


New Member
Jan 24, 2022
Hello everyone.
I have been reading "The Ministry for the Future" by Kim Stanley Robinson and I've become very inspired to read more climate fiction (cli-fi)
I have also been writing my own cli-fi, which incorporates some of my academic studies of religion and ecology and climate change.

I'm wondering if folks here know of any good forums/communities of cli-fi writers to share work and to explore the field more closely.
I only know of one ecology based literature database and it features work done by independent authors. To get listed in it, your story must have at least 10 reviews. I'm sure there are more, but this one is a good place to start. There was an extensive eco lit community on google but that disappeared when google pulled the plug on google groups.

Mixing eco solutions in with your fiction writing can turn people off who don't want "lessons" in their reading done for enjoyment purposes. While it seems like everyone should be aware of the situation, that is not happening, nor wanted by a large part of the population. There is also the risk of out and out info dumping when trying to publicize issues. Put the story far enough into the future with enough gadgets to make it science fictionany, and most people won't mind if some other planet suffers an environmental meltdown, it's just a good story composed of interesting ideas. There have been plenty of good stories driven by environmental parameters, but most over look that feature in their descriptions.

Environmental based writing has been around for a long time, but it goes by different tags. The earlier works were easily called science fiction because of the apparent unlikeliness of the story both from events and settings. It is very easy to write an eco story based on another planet in the far future. It is an entirely different story writing near future eco science fiction, which in itself is a tag that doesn't work. Cli-fi is the latest name, eco-fiction is a big tag that covers a lot of territory. I wrote a near future story, and tried to label it eco science fiction, but that doesn't carry much weight.

If you look at descriptions of "The Ministry for the Future" by Kim Stanley Robinson, you will see that the most used is science fiction, dystopian, horror is in there too, but calling it Cli-fi is way at the end of the list. By incorporating science fiction, dystopian, and horror elements, the story is able to be enjoyable to the point where the "lessons" can be overlooked by many of its readers.

A very famous cli-fi movie, though it too is called science fiction, with barely a nod to eco, Soylent Green, made in 1973, based on a 1966 story about 1999 titled Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison. To make the eco sci fi story into an acceptable Hollywood movie, several changes were made to "beef" up the story. These changes were probably considered to be totally unlikely to happen and good for box office appeal, but now seem rather tame, even fitting for today's world.

It is interesting that Robinson felt that he needed an unconventional format for his story. 106 chapters that bounce around with some horror thrown in. That reminds me of another near future story written in a non standard style, Stand On Zanzibar, written in 1968 by John Brunner. That story revolved around environmental issues, with an adventurous streak throughout it, but is definitively labeled as science fiction.

Brunner wrote several stories featuring environmental elements that ended up being not too far out of reality based on today's current events. Sometimes stories change from being improbable science fiction stories to fictional stories with science in them. When that happens, it seems like the fictional aspect has to be very good for the story to continue to be popular.

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