Professor Howell’s students review Earth Abides

Yesterday a pleasant comment came to the Earth Abides mailbox:

I hope this finds you well. I’m currently teaching a class at Temple University for which we just read Earth Abides, and I thought you’d be interested in seeing what my students had to say about the novel. The general theme of the class is “climate change fiction” or “cli-fi,” and Stewart’s book fit into the class marvelously. 20 students wrote reviews of the book, which you can read here if you’re inclined:

Temple University is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Stewart’s home state.  He wrote several works which were partly or completely set there. So it’s an appropriate place to be teaching about him.

Professor Howell was also kind enough to say that he’s reading the GRS biography, and other GRS books.

I’ve begun reading the student essays.  It’s very satisfying to see young people rediscovering GRS and his work, especially Earth Abides.  The authors have given me some new perspectives on the book, from the experience of the inhabitants of the early third millennium.

Please take the time to read some of those reviews, if you will.  If you add a comment on the page, Professor Howell will be able to read it.  And, as I said to him, he is a pioneer in the renaissance of Stewart’s work.  And he’s coined (or at least uses) a clever name for a new kind of fiction:  “CliFi.”  Climate Fiction.

(PS. Professor Howell sends a note to say that the term CliFi didn’t originate with him. Dan Bloom is the coiner of the term.  You can read Bloom’s weblog here:




3 thoughts on “Professor Howell’s students review Earth Abides

  1. Thanks so much for the post. I do, though, have to clarify that I didn’t coin the term “cli fi” that I’m using as a title for the course. The reason I want to be perfectly clear about this is because I’ve been in contact recently with the man who did coin it, Dan Bloom. He’s been advocating for the term for a few years now, and its taken hold in news stories, etc. — that’s where I first learned of it. Here’s one of his blogs dedicated to the genre:

    Not sure he’d consider Earth Abides to be an example of climate change fiction, but I think it works.

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