By Sarah Yurch | February 27 2023 | Fiction

Cli-Fi (short for climate fiction) is a genre that invites readers to consider the effects of climate change both in their own lives and for future generations. The foundation of the genre is an acknowledgement that climate change is an unignorable crisis. And while it is often speculative, cli-fi is usually grounded in real science. The term was coined in the twenty-first century but has been applied to novels written as early as the 1960s.

Many works of cli-fi paint a surprisingly hopeful picture of human response to environmental catastrophe, crafting narratives that center racial equity, community, and respect for nature.

See below for a few top cli-fi titles, or click here for a more complete list.

A Novel
One of the most beloved and bestselling novels of spiritual adventure ever published, Ishmael has earned a passionate following. This special twenty-fifth anniversary edition features a new foreword and afterword by the author. “A thoughtful, fearlessly low-key novel about the role of our species on the planet . . . laid out for us with an originality and a clarity that few would deny.”—The New York Times Book ReviewTeacher Seeks Pupil.Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person.It was just a three-line ad in the personals section, but it launched the adventure of a lifetime.So begins an utterly unique and captivating novel. It is the story of a man who embarks on a highly provocative intellectual adventure with a gorilla—a journey of the mind and spirit that changes forever the way he sees the world and humankind’s place in it. In Ishmael, which received the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship for the best work of fiction offering positive solutions to global problems, Daniel Quinn parses humanity’s origins and its relationship with nature, in search of an answer to this challenging question: How can we save the world from ourselves? Explore Daniel Quinn’s spiritual Ishmael trilogy: ISHMAEL • MY ISHMAEL • THE STORY OF B Praise for Ishmael“As suspenseful, inventive, and socially urgent as any fiction or nonfiction you are likely to read this or any other year.”—The Austin Chronicle“Before we’re halfway through this slim book . . . we’re in [Daniel Quinn’s] grip, we want Ishmael to teach us how to save the planet from ourselves. We want to change our lives.”—The Washington Post“Arthur Koestler, in an essay in which he wondered whether mankind would go the way of the dinosaur, formulated what he called the Dinosaur’s Prayer: ‘Lord, a little more time!’ Ishmael does its bit to answer that prayer and may just possibly have bought us all a little more time.”—Los Angeles Times
$18.00 US
May 01, 1995

Oryx and Crake
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The first volume in the internationally acclaimed MaddAddam trilogy is at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future—from the bestselling author of The Handmaid's Tale and The TestamentsSnowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey—with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake—through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.
$17.00 US
Mar 30, 2004
US, Opn Mkt (no CAN)

How Beautiful We Were
A Novel
A fearless young woman from a small African village starts a revolution against an American oil company in this sweeping, inspiring novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers.  “A novel with the richness and power of a great contemporary fable, and a heroine for our time.”—Sigrid Nunez, author of The Friend, winner of the National Book Award
$18.00 US
Feb 01, 2022
Random House Trade Paperbacks
US, Canada, Open Mkt

Parable of the Sower
A Novel
A New York Times Book of the Year · Nebula Award nominee · Featuring an introduction by Gloria SteinemFrom the pioneering New York Times bestselling science fiction author of Kindred.The radically speculative odyssey of a young Black woman in a post-apocalyptic America and the community she cultivates despite the horrors of climate change and social inequalityThe 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.
$24.00 US
Feb 28, 2017
Seven Stories Press
US, Canada, Open Mkt