Kathmandu: Climate fiction, an alienated genre of literature so far, is gradually gaining attraction in literary circles. The idea of exploring the fantastical or fictitious realms of an issue that is currently looming over our heads is something that can be daunting to most. However, some ambitious young Nepali writers accepted the challenge and poured their hearts out into a stunning climate fiction anthology.
To bring attention to the vast possibilities of climate fiction literature, Quixote’s Cove, an independent bookstore in Jawalakhel, Lalitpur, has given a platform to young enthusiastic authors through a compilation of short stories titled “In 100 Years: An Anthology of Climate Fiction & Futurism from Nepal”. A book launch and reading event was held in Jhamsikhel on Saturday to allow the writers to read their works aloud to audiences.
“In 100 Years” is a climate fiction and futurism workshop held at Quixote’s Cove with the facilitation and guidance of American climate researcher and Cli-fi writer Evan Tims. The initiative was to bring what the Nepali point of view on climate change looks like into the realm of fiction.
At the event, Evan Tims highlighted the importance of climate fiction. “Reading can be a way of seeing–of viewing possible worlds, parallel universes. It’s even a bit like time traveling. If literature is a form of sight, we don’t seem to want to look at climate change very much,” he said.
What the organizer claims to be the first-ever anthology of the climate fiction genre in Nepal could be a new turning point for Nepali literature, as it opens the door to explore diverse perspectives for creative writing.
At a time when the threat of climate change and natural disasters is at its peak, a lot of perspectives are to be explored for creative writing. The stories in the anthology delve into a lot of these themes. The anthology comprises stories that discuss the possible scarcity of food, the class discrepancy brought forth by a dystopian society, the possibility of ancient scriptures foretelling the future, and the potential of toxic unlivable earth, among others.
The stories in the anthology also dive into a uniquely Nepali perspective on climate change, and what the future could hold. The narrative angle of each author varies and the imprints of their own life experiences are visible in the stories. Since Nepal is prone to natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, and landslides, there are a lot of stories to be explored and unearthed. These multidimensional stories have the potential to draw much-needed attention to the ongoing climate crisis and its possible severe consequences.