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So You Want to Read Cli-Fi: Here’s Where to Start

Climate Fiction, or Cli-Fi, is a growing branch of fiction literature that deals with the effects of climate change on human society. Looking to dive in? Here are few suggestions to get you started.

  1. 1
    American War Book Cover Picture
    American War Book Cover Picture

    American War

    by Omar El Akkad

    American War Book Cover Picture
    American War Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

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  2. 2
    War Girls Book Cover Picture
    War Girls Book Cover Picture

    War Girls

    by Tochi Onyebuchi

    The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky. In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life. Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together.And they’re willing to fight an entire war to get there.
    War Girls Book Cover Picture
    War Girls Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $18.99

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  3. 3
    Gold Fame Citrus Book Cover Picture
    Gold Fame Citrus Book Cover Picture

    Gold Fame Citrus

    by Claire Vaye Watkins

    Perpetual drought has baked California to a crisp. While most Californians have opted for government relocation to more habitable regions of the country, some stick it out, armed maniacs and severe dehydration be damned. Ray, a war veteran, and Luz, a former poster child for the Bureau of Conservation, are two of them. They’re living off cans of soda and squatting in abandoned mansions when they hear rumors of a dowser who can still find water in the parched Earth. They set off into the desert to find him, braving armed maniacs and government authorities along the way.
    Gold Fame Citrus Book Cover Picture
    Gold Fame Citrus Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

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  4. 4
    Weather Book Cover Picture
    Weather Book Cover Picture

    Weather

    by Jenny Offill

    Lizzie Benson’s old mentor, Sylvia Liller, makes a proposal. She’s become famous for her prescient podcast, Hell and High Water, and wants to hire Lizzie to answer the mail she receives: from left-wingers worried about climate change and right-wingers worried about the decline of western civilization. As Lizzie dives into this polarized world, she begins to wonder what it means to keep tending your own garden once you’ve seen the flames beyond its walls.
    Weather Book Cover Picture
    Weather Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $23.95

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  5. 5
    Oryx and Crake Book Cover Picture
    Oryx and Crake Book Cover Picture

    Oryx and Crake

    by Margaret Atwood

    Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake trilogy is set before and after a great plague kills most of humanity, but the Earth was in trouble well before that. Failure to halt climate change has created an out of control weather system where fierce storms and tornadoes are all to common. The coastlines are flooded, and there’s no seasons anymore: just one long, sticky, miserable summer. Those few who survived the plague scrounge for left-over faux foods (almost everything is soy-based) while dodging genetically modified creatures gone feral, like “wolvogs” and “pigoons”.
    Oryx and Crake Book Cover Picture
    Oryx and Crake Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

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  6. 6
    Orange World and Other Stories Book Cover Picture
    Orange World and Other Stories Book Cover Picture

    Orange World and Other Stories

    by Karen Russell

    This stunning collection of short fiction showcases Karen Russell’s extraordinary, irresistible gifts of language and imagination. The landscape in which these stories unfold is a feral, slippery, purgatorial space, bracketed by the void—yet within it Russell captures the exquisite beauty and tenderness of ordinary life. Orange World is a miracle of storytelling from a true modern master.
    Orange World and Other Stories Book Cover Picture
    Orange World and Other Stories Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

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  7. 7
    The Water Knife Book Cover Picture
    The Water Knife Book Cover Picture

    The Water Knife

    by Paolo Bacigalupi

    Climate change is a theme in much of Paolo Bacigalupi’s fiction. It’s hard to choose just one work by him to feature here, but The Water Knife is as good a candidate as any. Angel Velasquez is an assassin and enforcer in the drought-struck western United States of the future. She’s not exactly a good person, as you might gather. Her job is to maintain her wealthy land developer client’s monopoly on the region’s scarce water supply, and she’s damned good at it. When her path crosses with a refugee from Texas and an investigative journalist, Angel finds her loyalties tested.
    The Water Knife Book Cover Picture
    The Water Knife Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

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  8. 8
    A Friend of the Earth Book Cover Picture
    A Friend of the Earth Book Cover Picture

    A Friend of the Earth

    by T.C. Boyle

    In the year 2025 global warming is a reality, the biosphere has collapsed, and 75-year-old environmentalist Ty Tierwater is eking out a living as care-taker of a pop star’s private zoo when his second ex-wife re-enters his life.
    A Friend of the Earth Book Cover Picture
    A Friend of the Earth Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  9. 9
    Orleans Book Cover Picture
    Orleans Book Cover Picture

    Orleans

    by Sherri L. Smith

    After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, residents of the Outer States are under the assumption that life in the Delta is all but extinct…but in reality, a new primitive society has been born.  Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Fen meets Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States who has snuck into the Delta illegally. Brought together by chance, kept together by danger, Fen and Daniel navigate the wasteland of Orleans.  In the end, they are each other’s last hope for survival.
    Orleans Book Cover Picture
    Orleans Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $10.99

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  10. 10
    The Beast of Cretacea Book Cover Picture
    The Beast of Cretacea Book Cover Picture

    The Beast of Cretacea

    by Todd Strasser

    The Beast of Cretacea Book Cover Picture
    The Beast of Cretacea Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $18.99

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  11. 11
    Parable of the Sower Book Cover Picture
    Parable of the Sower Book Cover Picture

    Parable of the Sower

    by Octavia E. Butler

    Parable of the Sower is the Butlerian odyssey of one woman who is twice as feeling in a world that has become doubly dehumanized. The time is 2025. The place is California, where small walled communities must protect themselves from hordes of desperate scavengers and roaming bands of people addicted to a drug that activates an orgasmic desire to burn, rape, and murder. When one small community is overrun, Lauren Olamina, an 18 year old black woman with the hereditary train of “hyperempathy”—which causes her to feel others’ pain as her own—sets off on foot along the dangerous coastal highways, moving north into the unknown.
    Parable of the Sower Book Cover Picture
    Parable of the Sower Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $24.00

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  12. 12
    Forty Signs of Rain Book Cover Picture
    Forty Signs of Rain Book Cover Picture

    Forty Signs of Rain

    by Kim Stanley Robinson

    Forty Signs of Rain Book Cover Picture
    Forty Signs of Rain Book Cover Picture

    Mass Market Paperback
    $8.99

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