Buy F&SF • Read F&SF • Contact F&SF • Advertise In F&SF • Blog • Forum • RSS

Climate change novels?

In the climate change anthology I just edited, I did up a list of books in which climate change plays a significant role.  Which titles did I miss?

—Gordon V.G.

Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin (1985)

Antarctica by Kim Stanley Robinson (1997)

Arctic Drift by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler (2008)

The Child Garden by Geoff Ryman (1990)

Climate of Change by Piers Anthony (2010)

The Drought by J. G. Ballard (1968)

The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard (1968)

The Drylands by Mary Rosenblum (1993)

Earth by David Brin (1990)

Eruption by Harry Turtledove (forthcoming 2011)

Exodus by Julie Bertagna (2005)

Far North by Marcel Theroux (2009)

The Flood by Maggie Gee (2005)

Forty Signs of Rain (2004), Fifty Degrees Below (2005), and Sixty Days

and Counting (2007) by Kim Stanley Robinson

Future Primitive: The New Ecotopias edited by Kim Stanley Robinson (1994)

The Great Bay: Chronicles of the Collapse by Dale Pendell (2010)

Greenhouse Summer by Norman Spinrad (1999)

Greensword by Donald J. Bingle (2009)

Greenwar by Steven Gould and Laura J. Mixon (1997)

Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling (1996)

Hothouse (aka The Long Afternoon of Earth) by Brian W. Aldiss (1962)

The Ice People by Maggie Gee (2005)

In Flight Entertainment by Helen Simpson (2010)

Mother of Storms by John Barnes (1994)

The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman (2008)

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (2004)

Pennterra by Judith Moffett (1987)

Primitive by Mark Nykanen (2009)

Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi (2008)

The Ragged World (1991), Time, Like an Ever-Rolling Stream (1992), and The Bird Shaman (2008) by Judith Moffett

The Road to Corlay by Richard Cowper (1978)

River of Gods by Ian McDonald (2004)

The Sea and Summer (aka The Drowning Towers) by George Turner (1987)

The Snow by Adam Roberts (2004)

Solar by Ian McEwan (2010)

State of Fear by Michael Crichton (2004)

Sunshine State by James Miller (2010)

Timescape by Gregory Benford (198x)

Ultimatum by Matthew Glass (2009)

Water Rites by Mary Rosenblum (2007)

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (2009)

World Made by Hand by James Howard Kuntsler (2008)

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (2009)


18 Responses to “Climate change novels?”

  1. Gregory Feeley on January 12th, 2011

    How about The Sheep Look Up and No Blade of Grass?

  2. Tweets that mention Climate change novels? : The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction -- on January 12th, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Derek Johnson. Derek Johnson said: RT @RickKlaw: Climate change novels : The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction – […]

  3. xixtas on January 12th, 2011

    Shipbreaker by Paolo Bacigalupi.

  4. Steven Gould on January 12th, 2011

    Blind Waves by me (Steven Gould)
    Glass Houses by Laura J. Mixon

  5. Michael A. Burstein on January 12th, 2011

    Overshoot by Mona Clee.

  6. Maggie Gee on January 13th, 2011

    Hallo, Gordon. Thanks for including The Flood and The Ice People in this list. Could I just point out that my novel Where are the Snows (1990) is, to my knowledge, one of the first llterary novels that is centrally about climate change and the possible links between unrestrained consumption by human beings, as seen in the 1980s, and a warming world? I also mentioned climate change in Light Years (1985) where there is a comparison between what would happen if human beings continue to pollute the earth through industry, and the hellishly hot ( for life as we know it) conditions on Venus.

    All good wishes

    Maggie Gee

  7. C.E. Petit on January 13th, 2011

    Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

    Peter F. Hamilton, the three Mindstar novels (Mindstar Rising, A Quantum Murder, The Nano Flower)

    And, if you’re not limiting it to climate change on Earth, how about Brian Aldiss’s Helliconia cycle?

  8. Donald J. Bingle on January 13th, 2011

    Fallen Angels by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Michael Flynn. It is, of course, about a new ice age, but when you have glaciers rolling across the interstate highway in the Dakotas, that’s climate change. Besides, how can you go wrong with scifi fandom saves the day?

  9. Kevin J. Maroney on January 23rd, 2011

    The first work in which I encountered the idea of melting ice caps significantly changing the terrestrial landscape, but in a recognizable nearish future (2400 AD), was Lynn Willis’s board wargame Lords of the Middle Sea in 1978. The approach is more post-apocalypse than the Ballard, which are catastrophe novels.

  10. Ron Beffa on January 30th, 2011

    Robert Silverberg had a 1994 novel “Hot Sky at Midnight”. He had an earlier short story in 1990 also about the effects of climate change called “Hot Sky”. I haven’t read the novel but the short story was quite good.

  11. Ron Beffa on January 30th, 2011

    I think I would scratch Howard Kunstler’s “World Made By Hand” from your list. It is a pretty good near future dystopian novel, but I can’t recall a thing about climate change in the book. The apocalypse in that book I don’t think is specified but can be inferred to be from peak oil and economic collapse.

  12. Sara Croft on February 8th, 2011

    New book, Twilight’s Ashes by Auler Ivis, is a science fiction/fantasy novel about an impending climate apocalypse and the post-human race that evolves from it. If interested, I can send you a copy!

  13. Bobson on March 11th, 2011

    Flood by Stephen Baxter
    Ark by Stephen Baxter

  14. John Boston on March 22nd, 2011

    THE NITROGEN FIX by Hal Clement–atmosphere has become unbreathable, humans live underwater and take it all in stride.

  15. Jeff Rensch on April 8th, 2011

    Shouldn’t the original Dune be on the list? Lack of water drives the whole story… okay, it’s not earth but easily likened to earth. The “climate change” is the imaginative move from the reader’s earth to the writer’s planet. Anyway, for me in the 60s this was the wakeup ecology novel.

  16. Don WEbb on June 20th, 2011

    The Eskimo Invasion — overlooked classic or just the worst idea ever . . .

    It was a happy scene…
    The winter wastes; the igloos; cheerful, laughing, roly-poly faces–his friends, the Eskimos–the gentlest, most warm-hearted people in the world.
    And they were cheerful, laughing, gentle, and warm-hearted.
    And busy, active, playful.
    In fact, when Dr. West tried to take a census, he couldn’t be sure that he hadn’t counted the same ones several times over.
    Or had he?
    And if not, how could they all be so very young? Where had they all come from?
    But it was still a happy scene.

  17. Dan Bloom on January 17th, 2012

    Gordon, am doing some research on cli fi novels and i am looking for a publisher for a book length novel by Jim Laughter in Oklahoma, titled POLAR CITY RED. he is writing it now and needs/wants an agent and editor and publisher. might OR books be interested? this migth be the best cli fi book ever, for now. and huge movie potential too. how can i get info to you and John Oakes? RE:

    “True North . . .” by M. J. Locke. This story in the anthogy above hews even closer to the tropes of the classic apocalypse tale, says a critic, noting

    ” An old man has buried his wife. They lived in the Northern U.S. and survived the complete collapse of civilization because they’d laid down decades’ worth of food and medical supplies in their remote house. The house burns down and the man joins a group of young refugees fleeing from work camps in Denver and trying to make it to Canada. There’s a rumored research station, Hoku Pa’a, that has plenty of supplies and some vestiges of civilization, up in the former antarctic tundra. Unfortunately, the Mounties are trying to keep the Southerners out, there are roving gangs operating under warlords, and one of the warlords has gotten the crazy idea of trying to restore the prestige of the United States by nuking Canada from a zeppelin. The man and the kids have to a) survive, b) stop the crazy Dr. Strangelove guy, and c) get to Big Rock Candy Mountain—sorry, Hoku Pa’a.

  18. Charles Sobczak on July 13th, 2012

    I’m writing one called “The Year of the Bad Decision.” It’s a dystopian story set in the near future where, due to the horrific effects of climate change, we try, and fail, at an attempt of geo-engineering. It’s more of a science thriller than pure science fiction, but it utilizes any number of current climate models and draws them out to there frightening conclusions. I’ll look into some of the other ones mentioned in the list and blog above, though “State of Fear” is a piece of garbage. If Michael Crichton doesn’t think a little bit of CO2 could screw up our atmosphere someone should have told him about strychnine. It doesn’t take much of that (1-2mg) to kill a two-hundred pound person. CO2 is strychnine to our atmosphere and that’s the only way to view it.

Leave a Reply

If this is your first time leaving a comment, your comment may enter the moderation queue. If it doesn't appear right away, don't panic; it should show up once site administrators verify you're not a spambot. After you successfully post a comment, future comments will no longer be moderated.

Copyright © 2006–2021 The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction • All Rights Reserved Worldwide
Powered by WordPress • Theme based on Whitespace theme by Brian Gardner
If you find any errors, typos or anything else worth mentioning, please send it to

Designed by Rodger Turner and Hosted by:
SF Site spot art