"Cli-fi"— or climate fiction—encompasses stories and novels that engage with the defining crisis of our time: climate change. Set in current times, or in the near future, cli-fi narratives are not necessarily far-fetched. Instead, they seek to illuminate the real threats that our planet is facing.
For this prompt, pen your own cli-fi story in 300 words or less. Perhaps you'll write about a teen moving away from his fire-threatened home, or take on the perspective of a migrating bird, or write from the POV of a biologist studying the impacts of melting ice on arctic animals. What climate-related conflict will drive your plot? What mood will your setting conjure? How will you incorporate visual details to portray a landscape in peril?
Cli-fi allows us to inspire change through our words, dear writers. We look forward to reading yours.
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P.P.S. Need an example? Here Emzie's stellar piece "one day you will hide from the rain":
The underground station is throbbing with people. Their footsteps vibrate on the grimy floors.
I press myself against the curving, dirty tile wall, panic flooding my body.
Stay calm stay calm stay calm stay calm stay calm...
It's just protocol, I remind myself. We are prepared for this.
A groan above me tells me the rain has started to fall. I hope with all my heart that no one is still up there. I hope that the entrance was not blocked to them.
I sink to the floor and hug my knees to my chest. I cannot hear the patter of rain, and I am glad I cannot see it. Every so often I look up the ceiling for leaks.
A little way away, someone lets out a cry. I feel heavy as people begin to murmur. Struggling to my feet, I push through the people to see a girl, tearing some of her sweatshirt.
"It's okay," she says, trying to smile, but her eyes are full of tears. "It was just a drop."
"Does it sting?" I find myself asking as she tosses the scrap of sweatshirt away from her. There is a hole burned into it.
"It's fine," the girl answers me. "I'm fine."
"Get away from there," someone says in the crowd. "You don't want to risk it falling onto you again."
The girl nods mutely and shuffles away from where the raindrop fell.
I don't know why but I pick up the forlorn scrap of sweatshirt, staring at the hole.
Once rain used to be cool on the skin.
Now it burns.