Secondary Sources

An in-progress list of scholarly work about cli-fi or clearly relevant to cli-fi, with brief descriptions.


Adam Trexler, Anthropocene Fictions: The Novel in a Time of Climate Change

The best study to-date of climate change fiction: comprehensive and compelling. With lengthy readings of Solar, J.G. Ballard, Atwood,  Baciagalupi, and Robinson, among a host of others.

Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction, edited by Gerry Canavan and Kim Stanley Robinson

Among this anthology of essays that connect ecology with science fiction, Canavan’s Introduction and the essays by Christopher Palmer, Adeline Johns-Putra and Eric C. Otto are particularly relevant. Robinson’s interview with Canavan in the book’s Afterward would be a particularly effective reading to pair with his fiction.

The Future of Nature: Documents of Global Change, edited by by Libby Robin, Sverker Sörlin, and Paul Warde

A historical anthology focused on scientific predictions and discussions about nature’s future. Establishes historical and intellectual context for current understandings of global warming and climate change. (Review)


Greta Gaard, “From ‘cli-fi’ to critical ecocriticism: Narratives of climate change and climate justice.” Contemporary Perspectives on Ecofeminism. Ed. Mary Phillips and Nick Rumens. London: Routledge. 169-192.

Surveys how most works of cli-fi remain complicit in colonialism, speciesism and other dominant narratives of climate change, and argues for the necessity of a critical ecofeminist approach along with an expansion of the genres, geographies, and writers who narrate climate change. Discusses the fiction of Boyle, Crichton, and Robinson, and — more significantly — offers up a host of other genres and works that demand to be read with these oft-cited examples. (A longer version of Gaard’s piece is forthcoming in her book Critical Ecofeminism (Lexington Books, 2016).

Ursula K. Heise, “Terraforming for Urbanists.” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction 49(1): 10-25, 2016. doi: 10.1215/00295132-3458181

Tackles the theme of terraforming with specific reference to Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312 and Paolo Baciagalupi’s The Windup Girl.

Adeline Johns-Putra, “Climate change in literature and literary studies: From cli-fi, climate change theater and ecopoetry to ecocriticism and climate change criticism.” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Climate Change 7:266–282, 2016. doi: 10.1002/wcc.385

Wide-ranging summary of climate change in both literature and literary studies. Provides examples of fiction, drama, and poetry. Best bibliographical treatment of climate change literature to-date.

Patrick D. Murphy, “Pessimism, Optimism, Human Inertia, and Anthropogenic Climate Change.” ISLE 21(1): 149-163, 2014. doi: 10.1093/isle/isu027

Discusses Kim Stanley Robinson’s work alongside Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior.

Sverker Sörlin, “Environmental Humanities: Why Should Biologists Interested in the Environment Take the Humanities Seriously?” BioScience 62(9): 788-789, 2012. doi: 10.1525/bio.2012.62.9.2

An article by an environmental historian celebrating the turn towards “environmental humanities” and calling for humanities teachers and scholars to collaborate with environmental scientists.