Friday, May 24, 2024

Book Review: The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi


This was my second attempt; the first time all the legal stuff seemed too complicated to bother with. This time, it was for a cli-fi book club, and once I got into it I found the characters quite compelling. Found myself thinking of them, especially Lucy, as some person I knew, which is always a good sign for characters! Climate fiction wise it was a realistic portrayal of a long-term drought in the American West and the political ramifications that might result. The border-control between states was something I haven't seen in other novels but seems believable. And I loved the irony of the Texans being the refugees, since there are so many Texans who perceive Mexicans to be less-than-human because of their status.

The themes I found are : what are people's true natures, and relatedly, how best should people survive. The juxtaposition of Angel and Lucy showed the two sides of these and I'd say the message came out on the side of: the best people will try to stick together and watch out for each other, but the reality is everyone can be broken. There are not good or bad people but instead there are circumstances. And when the circumstances are rough, you have to watch out for yourself (and your people) while trying your best to be fair and just.

From a writing persepctive, the characters' wants were clear and maintained all the way to the finale. Angel is loyal to Catherine Case because she rescued him and he admires her. Maria wants to know what the real deal is in order to save herself. Lucy is a little more complex: it is told that she wants to get a good story but the underlying want is to save the Zoners by telling their story.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Cli-Fi Reading List

Really Cli-Fi (YA) (YA)

Thirteen-year-old Zahrah Tsami feels like a normal girl — she grows her own flora computer, has mirrors sewn onto her clothes, and stays clear of the Forbidden Greeny Jungle.

Authors like Amitav Ghosh, Arif Anwar and Saad Z Hossain, either Southasians or members of the Southasian diaspora, have been pioneers of the literary movement to address climate change, with Ghosh's work in particular standing as a major inspiration for the recent cli-fi wave.

 The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanDermee

Stephen Markley's The Deluge. Around the year 2036, Bangladesh is swallowed by a cyclone of historic proportions, prompting a humanitarian catastrophe

 American War by Omar El Akkad 

Waste Tide by Chen Qiufan

Gamechanger by L.X. Becket 

Environmental Disaster Fiction 

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Tentacle, by Rita Indiana (2018): This sinister novel, set in the Caribbean during a time of environmental collapse sparked by three ecological disasters, reflects on the region’s colonial history as it portrays an era of capitalism run amok. It was originally published in Spanish under the title La mucama de OmicunlĂ©.

Not sure

The City We Became.  N.K. Jemison 

Links to Lists of Cli-Fi