1st Edition

The Routledge Anthology of Climate Fiction Volume One

Edited By Bill Gillard Copyright 2025
    448 Pages
    by Routledge

    448 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Anthology of Climate Fiction brings together key works from the Bible to the 20th-century, in an accessible resource for students and teachers alike. With a robust variety of works, including H. G. Wells, Clare Winger Harris, H. P. Lovecraft, Leslie F. Stone, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Routledge Anthology of Climate Fiction offers vital new perspectives and critical introductions all the way back to humanity’s earliest surviving literary texts. This volume enables a dialogue between environmental catastrophes, human action and anthropogenic climate change and their significance in the contemporary classroom.



    Noah and the Flood (1450 B.C.) Genesis 6 - 9


    “Darkness” (1816) by Lord Byron


    “The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion” (1839) by Edgar Allan Poe


    “The End of the World” (1872) by Eugène Mouton


    The Doom of the Great City (1880) by William Delisle Hay


    “Dialogue Between a Goblin and a Gnome” (1882) by Giacomo Leopardi


    After London (1885) (excerpt) by Richard Jefferies


    The Purchase of the North Pole (excerpt) (1889) by Jules Verne


    “The Star” (1897) by H. G. Wells


    “A Corner in Lightning” (1898) by George Griffith


    “Within an Ace of the End of the World” (1900-01) by Robert Barr


    “The Four White Days” (1903) by Fred M. White


    “The Fire” (1904) by C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne


    Underground Man (excerpt) (1905) by Gabriel de Tarde


    The Evacuation of England (excerpt) (1908) by L. P. Gratacap


    “The Last Generation: A Story of the Future” (1908) by James Elroy Flecker


    The Poison Belt (1913) (excerpt) by Arthur Conan Doyle


    Metropolis (excerpt) (1925) by Thea von Harbou


    “The Colour out of Space” (1927) by H. P. Lovecraft


    “The Menace of Mars” (1928) by Clare Winger Harris


    “When the Sun Went Out” (1929) by Leslie F. Stone


    “This Mechanical Age” (1931) by Julia Boynton Green


    “Planetoid of Doom” (1932) by Morrison Colladay


    “The Man Who Awoke” (1933) by Laurence Manning


    Bill Gillard, PhD, MFA, is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh where he teaches climate fiction and creative writing. His specialty is speculative fiction from 1880-1940, and he is coauthor of Speculative Modernism: How Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Conceived the Twentieth Century. His poetry and fiction have been published widely, and his current research is on the Wisconsin author, Robert Bloch.


    "The Routledge Anthology of Climate Fiction provides a desperately needed historical context for any modern-day discussion of the climate catastrophe, especially since it is too often dismissed by world leaders and influencers alike as a faddish fiction. Essential reading for genre aficionados and ecocritics alike, this brilliantly curated collection proves that concerns about the ravages of pollution have been with us for generations and that the climate fiction literary genre has been around for far longer than many thinkers have assumed."

    Marc DiPaolo, author of Fire and Snow: Climate Fiction from the Inklings to Game of Thrones


    "Sometimes it’s only in retrospect that we can recognize patterns that now seem self-evident. In this well-chosen collection, William Gillard has assembled a provocative collection of stories that — from our own precarious perch on the edge of climate catastrophe — now seem eerily prophetic. A richly rewarding compilation for anyone interested in the powerful legacy of climate change on the development of literature and human culture."

    McKay Jenkins, Author of Food Fight: GMOs and the Future of the American Diet

    "Bill Gillard recognizes that writers have long been aware of anthropogenic climate change, as demonstrated through the voices in this anthology. This important intervention helps scholars and readers recognize that climate fiction has a deep archive of possibilities to inspire action."

    Phoebe Wagner, co-editor of Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation

    "With commendable originality, Gillard’s Routledge Anthology of Climate Fiction seeks to extend our understanding of climate fiction, or ‘cli-fi’, back to the late nineteenth century. The scholarly consensus on cli-fi conventionally dates the sub-genre from the late twentieth century, but Gillard’s collection makes it interestingly contemporaneous with earlier concerns about industrial pollution and with the early history of modernism, along lines previously argued in his co-authored Speculative Modernism (2021). There is a customary nod to the story of Noah in Genesis and less customary nods to Byron and Poe. But the main focus is on Anglo-American fiction during the period 1880-1940, with passing inclusions from Italy, Chile and France (although oddly not from Jules Verne). The collection will prove invaluable to those working on cli-fi, both teachers and students, but it’s to be hoped that subsequent volumes will bring us up to date and also focus on other national fictions, perhaps most importantly the French."

    Andrew Milner, Author of Locating Science Fiction (2012), Science Fiction and Climate Change (2020) and Science Fiction and Narrative Form (2023)