Reading Apocalyptic Novels During A Global Crisis

  • In uncertain times, the appeal for novels telling stories of havoc and wrenching loss is rising. With anxiety and uncertainty all around us, the narratives offer a degree of hope, humour and catharsis.
  • The disorientating environment, existential despair and the many new challenges which are part of the narration in dystopian novels provide a new kind of thrill and entertain the readers even with their bleakness.
  • The new kinds of decisions that many have to make offer an extreme alternative of what could happen, resulting in the readers re-examining their current relationships and feeling better.
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Climate Fiction, or Cli-Fi is the latest hot trend in the literary world, and feels less like imagination and more like the near future.

We get the feeling that things could be much worse than now, when the outside world is almost dystopian and highly uncertain. The extreme bleakness in the hot-selling novels is complicated by the fact that the problems described are normalized in the minds of the reader.

The Appeal Of Doomsday Novels

The ongoing pandemic is a once-in-a-century event that has put the feeling of comfort at a premium. One such unexpected source of comfort is the relatively new genre of cli-fi, that is the dystopian world of climate fiction: stories related to environmental devastation revolving around either the pre-apocalyptic ‘before’ or the post-apocalyptic ‘after’.

This genre is a rising trend, with novels that offer climatic doom or widespread ecological calamities becoming award-winning bestsellers.

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Science fiction in the 1700s

Science fiction emerged about 300 years ago when science made great strides. Authors tried to understand their world by imagining a possible future.

Gulliver's Travels is the earliest science fiction. This satirical 1726 travel narrative is considered to be a precursor of the modern science fiction novel. Lemuel Gulliver encounters utopian and dystopian societies during his voyages. The novel describes scientists on islands whose experiments are pointless.

Isaac  Asimov

It is changing, continuing, and inevitable change that is the dominant factor in society today. Science fiction may seem trivial to blind critics and philosophers of today but in its essence, it is needed for our own salvation.

Creative Work Is Ambiguous

Authentic creativity has the power to be reinterpreted and reinvented by the reader. They offer an enticing ambiguity, a place where the reader can be friends with the characters and feel like spending more time inside.

A good creative work is like a mirror, reflecting the reader's imagination in a kaleidoscopic way.

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