During the sweltering British summer of 2013, Foyles bookstore in London did something that was a long time coming: It set up a dedicated ”cli-fi” table with a simple yet eye-catching sign promoting fiction and non-fiction books with climate themes.
Among the books seen on the table in the photograph to the right above are Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” and James Lovelock’s “The Revenge of Gaia” as well as Stephen Emmott’s current bestseller “10 Billion” sitting alongside such dystopic scenarios as J.G. Ballard’s “The Drowned World,” John Christopher’s “The Death of Grass,” Joe Dunthorne’s “Wild Abandon” and Liz Jensen’s “The Rapture.”
Most of the books on the table are also available as e-books as well, according to Steve Matthews, a Foyles bookshop employee who was working the early morning shift last Sunday and graciously snapped the photo—exclusively for TeleRead—with his iPhone.
The ‘cli-fi’ sign in-store may be the first of its kind anywhere in the now-warming world, and follows extensive media coverage of the emerging cli-fi genre in TeleRead, The Guardian, the Financial Times, and The New Yorker.
Other cli-fi novels on the table included Barbara Kingsolver’s”Flight Behavior” and and Ian McEwan’s “Solar.” Will other bookstores and book-selling websites around the world follow Foyles’ example and set up similar cli-fi sites at bookstores in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Sydney, Melbourne, Wellington and Paris? Is this a trend or just a one-off photo opp in the UK?