Overwhelmed by climate change? No wonder. It’s hard to picture exactly how our changing climate impacts us day to day, harder still to figure out how to stop it. But the answer may be in our past. For thousands of years, we’ve told stories to make sense of the world around us. Fiction may be our saviour with climate change too: it’s a built-in safe haven to explore one of the most serious and important issues of our time.

Climate fiction (cli-fi for short) has arrived. And not a moment too soon, letting us experience both the social and ecological consequences of global climate catastrophe from the relative comfort of our couches. From record temperatures, melting glaciers and droughts to food shortages, economic collapse and widespread plague—cli-fi offers all this and more.

Why fiction? Dry facts and dire warnings from scientists and journalists often leave out the sucker-punch that fiction can provide. In climate fiction, there are no monsters under the bed. The horrors are already here. Cli-fi just packages them in a pretty cover you can close when you get scared. If only we could close the book on climate change in the real world too. But maybe we’re finally telling stories that can show us the way to save it.

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