Showing posts from April, 2014

Is There a Book Cover Style for Climate Fiction?

Climate Fiction or cli-fi has inspired a surprisingly wide range of book covers. Look here at what the Cli-Fi website has put together:

This is very different from standard science fiction fare and should put to rest the argument that cli-fi is a sub-genre of sci-fi.

What is striking about these covers is the unifying focus on humanity and Earth as we know it - but with a menacing twist, usually transmitted with a frightening color filter, often red or green.

Five days ago, I presented to you two covers for my upcoming cli-fi novel Forever Young, asking you to vote for your favorite one and I used both this blog and my mirror blog on Wordpress (see here) to try and get as many votes as possible. Although the sample is small (relatively few votes), the trend was crystal clear, the "full woman" - Alice's portrait - won by a wide margin, two to one. Here she is, watching a fiery sunset on a dying world:

I've already put it up on Amazon (here at 99 cents - it's…

Ukraine Crisis: After Crimea, Moldova?

The world is watching with bated breath the crisis unfold in Eastern Ukraine as pro-Russian self-appointed militia men appear to prepare the ground for a Russian invasion. Yet Putin's next move could well be in quite another place: in tiny Moldova, population 4 million, most of them pro-West except for the Russian-speaking eastern region of Transnistria.

This slow-brewing crisis is now coming to a head, with Transnistria ready to secede from Moldova and asking to join Russia - a perfect repeat of the Crimea scenario.

Why should Putin heed Transnistria's call?

First, because it falls right into the grand Putin scheme of rebuilding Greater Russia, pulling together under the Kremlin's sway all Russophones across Europe.

Second, because of geo-political reasons, it comes at exactly the right time. It provides Putin with the perfect pretext for attempting to control Southern Ukraine - which is precisely what is needed to obtain direct Russian access to Crimea. Take a look at the ma…

Masterpiece, Italy's Reality TV Show for Writers: Last Act and a Small Miracle

Publishing Perspectives just published my most recent article about the Italian Reality TV show for writers (see here) and I'm happy to share it with you:

Italy’s TV Reality Show Ignored Psychology of AuthorsRead more by Guest Contributor
April 21, 2014

Italy’s “Masterpiece” TV reality show for writers failed to attract viewers, in part, because it didn’t account for the way writers empathize with others. By Claude Nougat

On March 30, the RAI 3 reality TV show Masterpiece promoted by the publisher Bompiani to find the “Next Big Italian Writer” ended with an unlikely winner, a Serb who lives in Venice: 36 year-old Nikola Savic.

Last week, on April 16, his winning book, Vita Migliore, was published in 100,000 copies and distributed to the libraries across Italy.

Two weeks to produce and distribute a printed book must be something of a Guinness record for a traditional publisher – as we all know, publishers usually require a minimum of six months to properly edit and produce a …

Book Cover for a Cli Fi Novel: Which is Best?

Cli Fi, or Climate Fiction, is rapidly becoming a widely accepted term to designate a new genre of books dealing with Climate Change but not only: many elements taken together – like the demographic explosion, growing income inequality, urbanization and the rapid industrialization of the Third World – contribute to threaten our survival on Earth.

Personally, I am convinced that things will get from bad to worse in about 200 years and go kaput in 600 years, if we don’t do anything about it.

And that’s the worst of it: because it is a relatively slow process, a lot of us don’t feel the urgency and even deny that the process is going on. Result: on a political level things are moving at a snail’s pace and the end of the world could really sneak upon us in 600 years!

The involvement of literature in the Climate Change debate is growing, and one UK academic, Dr. Adeline Johns-Putra recently noted that in the past eight years, at least 150 novels dealing in one way or another with the likely …

Interview with the Father of Cli Fi: How this New Genre Was Born is Revealed

My blog post about Climate Fiction, a "hot new genre" (here) led me to "virtually" meet  Dan Bloom, the journalist and “green” activist who coined the term "Cli Fi". I was very happy to meet him, he's a fascinating and somewhat explosive person, a Tufts graduate who's worked in Alaska, Japan and Taiwan (where he now lives). And he's agreed to answer a few of my questions here.

Claude: Dan, you coined the term Climate Fiction, cli-fi for short, back in 2008. When did the term start to catch on?
Dan: The term was modelled after sci-fi, of course, and at first it didn’t really catch on, not until 2013 when NPR did the first big media story on the cli-fi genre (see here ).
Claude: I took a look at that article, it has a great title “So Hot Right Now: Has Climate Change Created a New Literary genre?” and a striking introduction mentioning a best-selling cli-fi novel, as you can see on this screen shot:

Dan: Yes, and now the term is fast becoming a buz…

Climate Fiction: A Hot New Genre?

Is climate fiction a hot new genre (no pun intended)?

Something remarkable has happened. When American colleges start to use climate fiction to teach how to prepare for the coming climate crisis, expect writers to sit up and listen - especially science fiction writers. The New York Times recently reported on it (see here) saying classes focus on a "heavy dose of the mushrooming subgenre of speculative fiction known as climate fiction, or cli-fi, novels like Odds Against Tomorrow, by Nathaniel Rich, and Solar, by Ian McEwan."

Further down in the article, more cli-fi books are mentioned, among them Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior, Daniel Kramb's From Here, Hamish MacDonald's Finitude, Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl, Saci Lloyd's The Carbon Diaries 2015 and more recently The Carbon Diaries 2017 (a British YA book).

Wow! I sat up and listened since my soon to be released Forever Young looked like it might fit the genre. 

Checking around on the Net, I vi…