Is Cli-Fi A New Genre?

cover of Madd Adam by Margaret Atwood

Climate Fiction. I first heard of it just today, though apparently it’s been around since concerns over climate change first emerged. That’s decades ago. Remember Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring? Back in 1962 she sounded the alarm over our planet’s altered ecosystem.

She was labelled an alarmist by many. However today she’s regarded as a prophet whose predictions are prescient, to say the least. Hers was a non-fiction book. Since then there’ve been plenty of futuristic novels about the decay of our environment, and how this will affect humanity, all other living creatures, and of course Mother Earth.

Do such books warrant their own sub-genre of literature? That is to say, could they not simply be subsumed in the existing Sci-Fi category and be quietly acknowledged as Science Fiction with a climactic twist (so to speak)?

Not sure I’m in favor of adding sub-genres unless they’re truly distinct. Otherwise they’d proliferate like, well, toxic slush dumps.

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