Tag Archive for: Climate fiction

The Devil’s Highway is the folk name for a Roman road in north Surrey. The name is rooted in superstition, for in the Dark Ages, it must have seemed that only the devil could build anything so straight and strong. The Roman road marks the beginning of written history, of a civilisation that destroys in the name of progress. Physically and metaphorically, the Devil’s Highway runs through the interlinked narratives that make up the novel.

Set in the unforgiving sandy ‘wastes’ of Bagshot Heath, the three sections of The Devil’s Highway consist of three agons, or battles, against our self-destructive nature. In ‘Blueface’, an ancient British boy discovers a terrorist plot in which his own family is implicated. In ‘No Man’s Land’, two twenty-first century people – one traumatised by war, another by divorce – clash over the use and meaning of a landscape. Finally, in the futuristic ‘The Heave’ (where language is as degraded as the planet), a gang of feral children struggles to reach safety in a time of war.

Three narratives, one location, combine in a novel that spans centuries and challenges our dearest assumptions about civilisation. Combining elements of historical and speculative fiction with the narrative drive of pure thriller, The Devil’s Highway is an epic tale of love, loss, fanaticism, heroism and sacrifice.

“A brilliant deep-time meditation on how landscapes hold – and conceal – meanings.”~ Robert Macfarlane

“The best treatment of climate change in fiction I’ve come across. A powerful, essential novel.” ~ George Monbiot

 

Read more of our Climate Classics: timeless works exploring themes of climate change and biodiversity loss.

The Swan Book is set in the future, with Aboriginal people still living under the Intervention in the north, in an environment fundamentally altered by climate change.

It follows the life of a mute teenager called Oblivia, the victim of gang-rape by petrol-sniffing youths, from the displaced community where she lives in a hulk, in a swamp filled with rusting boats, and thousands of black swans driven from other parts of the country, to her marriage to Warren Finch, the first Aboriginal president of Australia, and her elevation to the position of First Lady, confined to a tower in a flooded and lawless southern city. The Swan Book has all the qualities which made Wright’s previous novel, Carpentaria, a prize-winning bestseller.

It offers an intimate awareness of the realities facing Aboriginal people; the wild energy and humour in her writing finds hope in the bleakest situations; and the remarkable combination of storytelling elements, drawn from myth and legend and fairy tale, has Oblivia Ethylene in the company of amazing characters like Aunty Bella Donna of the Champions, the Harbour Master, Big Red and the Mechanic, a talking monkey called Rigoletto, three genies with doctorates, and throughout, the guiding presence of swans.

 

Read our Librarian’s top climate change fiction picks by heading to our Fiction section

On the airwaves, all the talk is of the new blue planet – pristine and habitable, like our own 65 million years ago, before we took it to the edge of destruction. And off the air, Billie and Spike are falling in love.

What will happen when their story combines with the world’s story, as they whirl towards Planet Blue, into the future?

Will they – and we – ever find a safe landing place?

 

Read our Librarian’s top climate change fiction picks by heading to our Fiction section

Run away, one drowsy summer’s afternoon, with Holly Sykes: wayward teenager, broken-hearted rebel and unwitting pawn in a titanic, hidden conflict. Over six decades, the consequences of a moment’s impulse unfold, drawing an ordinary woman into a world far beyond her imagining. And as life in the near future turns perilous, the pledge she made to a stranger may become the key to her family’s survival…

 

Read our Librarian’s top climate change fiction picks by heading to our Fiction section

Decades from now, an artificial black hole has fallen into the Earth’s core. As scientists frantically work to prevent the ultimate disaster, they discover that the entire planet could be destroyed within a year.

But while they look for an answer, some claim that the only way to save Earth is to let its human inhabitants become extinct: to reset the evolutionary clock and start over.

‘This book is not just a green globe-trotting adventure; it is also a thoughtful mix of warnings and promise.” – The Guardian

 

Read our Librarian’s top climate change fiction picks by heading to our Fiction section

It’s January 1st, 2015, and the UK is the first nation to introduce carbon dioxide rationing, in a drastic bid to combat climate change. As her family spirals out of control, Laura Brown chronicles the first year of rationing with scathing abandon. Will her mother become one with her inner wolf? Will her sister give up her weekends in Ibiza? Does her father love the pig more than her? Can her band The Dirty Angels make it big? And will Ravi Datta ever notice her?

In these dark days, Laura deals with the issues that really matter: love, floods and pigs.

The Carbon Diaries 2015 is one girl’s drastic bid to stay sane in a world unravelling at the seams.

 

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When fifteen-year-old Anna begins receiving messages from another time, her parents take her to the doctor. But he can find nothing wrong; in fact he believes there may be some truth to what she is seeing. Anna is haunted by visions of the desolate world of 2082. She sees her great-granddaughter, Nova, roaming through wasteland with a band of survivors, after animals and plants have died out. The more Anna sees, the more she realises she must act to prevent the future in her visions becoming real.

But can she act quickly enough?

 

Read our Librarian’s top climate change fiction picks by heading to our Fiction section

It’s two days before Christmas and Helsinki is battling ruthless climate catastrophe: subway tunnels are flooded; abandoned vehicles are burning in the streets. People are fleeing to the far north where conditions are still tolerable. Social order is crumbling and private security firms have undermined the police force. Tapani Lehtinen, a struggling poet, is among the few still willing to live in the city.

When Tapani’s wife Johanna, a journalist, goes missing, he embarks on a frantic hunt for her. Johanna’s disappearance seems to be connected to a story she was researching about a serial killer known as ‘The Healer’. Determined to find Johanna, Tapani’s search leads him to uncover secrets from her past: secrets that connect her to the very murders she was investigating…

Atmospheric and moving, The Healer is a story of survival, loyalty and determination. Even when the world is coming to an end, love and hope endure.

 

Read our Librarian’s top climate change fiction picks by heading to our Fiction section

What if a demented London cabbie called Dave Rudman wrote a book to his estranged son to give him some fatherly advice? And what if that book was buried in Hampstead and hundreds of years later, when rising sea levels have put London underwater, spawned a religion?

What if one man decided to question life according to Dave? And what if Dave had indeed made a mistake?Shuttling between the recent past and a far-off future where England is terribly altered, The Book of Dave is a strange and troubling mirror held up to our times: disturbing, satirising and vilifying who and what we think we are.

At once a meditation upon the nature of received religion, a love story, a caustic satire of contemporary urban life and a historical detective story set in the far future – this compulsive novel will be enjoyed by readers everywhere, including fans of Martin Amis and Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange.

 

Read our Librarian’s top climate change fiction picks by heading to our Fiction section

New York City, the near future: Mitchell Zukor works on the cutting edge of corporate irresponsibility, and business is booming. A gifted mathematician, he spends his days in Manhattan calculating worst-case scenarios for FutureWorld, a consulting firm that indemnifies corporations against potential disasters. As Mitchell immerses himself in the mathematics of catastrophe, he exchanges letters with Elsa Bruner – a college crush with an apocalyptic secret of her own – and becomes obsessed by a culture’s fears. When his predictions culminate in a nightmarish crescendo, Mitchell realises he is uniquely prepared to profit from the disaster. But at what cost?

 

Read our Librarian’s top climate change fiction picks by heading to our Fiction section