Tag: Environmental books

Environmental Fiction: Can Stories Really Save Planet Earth?

Environmental Fiction: Can Stories Really Save Planet Earth?

Environmental Fiction isn’t new.

Environmental Fiction” also known as “Eco-Fiction“, and its sub-genre “Climate Fiction” or “Cli-Fi”, is a relatively new distinct genre of literary fiction, focusing on stories of human beings interacting with the natural world and causing environmental problems and ecological crises on planet Earth (and sometimes beyond).

I say ‘relatively new’, but novels in this genre have been around for decades. For example, Mosquito Point by Chris Barry was first published in 1996 and tells the story of a character whose daughter was an environmentalist protesting the use of DDT (a now mostly banned insecticide), and an Eco-Fiction anthology published in 1971 contains environmentally-themed stories from as far back as 1839!

Fiction activism.

Right now, Eco-Fiction is gaining popularity because it’s hard to escape the sense of urgency brought to our attention by environmental and climate activists, protesters and movements such as Greta Thunberg (https://twitter.com/GretaThunberg), the School Friday Strikes (#StrikeForClimate, #SchoolsStrike4Climate), Extinction Rebellion, and the like.

Even the latest winner of the very respectable “Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2019” was the Environmental Fiction novel The Overstory by Richard Powers, which explores the power of trees in the lives of nine fictional characters over time, and how they come together to save our world from a natural catastrophe.

Can a story really save the planet?

Most authors who write fiction focusing on natural disasters, ecological crises and mass species extinctions want to bring these issues to the attention of readers.

As an Environmental Fiction author myself, I feel strongly that Eco-Fiction has an important educational place in our culture, perhaps even highlighting green issues like habitat destruction, pollution and animal rights to people who might not otherwise have engaged with them.

“But if Environmental Fiction is just that – fiction, then why would readers take it seriously?” you might ask.

I’d like to think that having read a fictional story, readers ‘get it’ that the issues are real or could be, even if the characters or settings might not be. Hopefully readers come away more aware, perhaps even inspired to do some research, join an activist group, protest human-caused ecological catastrophe, volunteer their skills to wildlife charities, recycle more, or stop eating meat.

Even if all they do immediately after finishing the novel is think and feel more about an issue, that’s a good result, as far as I’m concerned. Spending time mulling over something in their minds which touched, angered or frightened them, and discussing it with others, is bound to affect their actions and behaviour down the line.

Change is needed.

After all, it’s humans who need to take action to save ourselves and the Earth. The planet cannot heal itself if we’re still here.

Science-Fiction meets Eco-Fiction.

For some readers, the time setting in the novels might matter as to whether they feel a novel is ‘realistic’ or not. Some Eco-Fiction focuses on important ecological issues which are happening now and are perhaps more urgent, like fracking, plastic pollution or climate change; these will reflect what readers can see around them.

Other authors present imagined dystopian or post-apocalyptic futures where humans didn’t take action in time and the remaining survivors struggle to live in barren, difficult environments. These novels serve as warnings to us to take action, otherwise our futures may be as bleak as described in the novels.

Now and then.

BookRiot classifies these two distinct types of Environmental Fiction as “What is” (novels focusing on now) and “What might be” (the future). Read their “A Reading List to Save the World” here.

Either way, Environmental Fiction, as a genre, is growing. In fact, I’d argue it’s already more than a genre – it’s part of the Ecological Collapse and Climate Crisis sub-culture or social movement fuelled by panic about the survival of our planet and human race.

We’re going to see more of it, be it in bookstores, Hollywood blockbusters like Avatar, and even in research and education seminars.

Do you think Environmental Fiction can save the planet? Have you ever read an Eco-Fiction novel? If so, which one, and how did it change your life? Write your comments below this post.


Eco-Fiction: Can Stories Really Save Planet Earth?

Get Your Free ‘Elephants Matter’ Environmental Worksheet

Get Your Free ‘Elephants Matter’ Environmental Worksheet

Elephants – an important part of the great web of life – do matter!

But they’re having a tough time, thanks to humans. Poached for ivory, culled, hunted, suffering from habitat loss, captured for zoos and circuses, to caged and confined as working animals…

Find out more about the environmental concerns in this blog post: “Elephant Extinction – Does it Matter?

You can explore lots of issues and activities around the topics of elephants in the free 2-page Elephants Matter Environmental Worksheet, including:

  • Design a mind map on the reasons elephant populations are declining (with a cool video link explaining mind maps)
  • Find out how we can all get involved in saving elephants
  • Investigate what World Elephant Day is all about
  • Research and have discussions about how elephants occur in our myths and legends
  • Explore etymology of the word ‘poach’
  • Learn fun facts and watch videos about unique elephant relationships
  • …and more!

Get your FREE Elephants Matter Worksheet!

Enjoy researching, reading, writing, talking and saving elephants! 🙂

I’d love to know how you get on. Write a reply below this post.


 

Author Youtube Video Channel

Author Youtube Video Channel

Being a Vegan: Interview with Matt Prior by Kathryn Rose NeweyThought I’d let you know that I now have an author video channel where I will be posting content related to books, events, environmental issues, and interviews with authors and others who are saving the Earth in various ways.

Sonia Faruqi - Author and Speaker

Some video interviews I have already posted there include:

  • A series of interviews with Matt Prior, a vegan and a vegan activist, called “Vegan in Five“,
  • An interview with fellow environmental author, Sonia Faruqi, author of Project Animal Farm and The Oyster Thief. Watch the video and read the blog post about her.

Here’s the video introduction to what I will be doing on the channel:

Check out the Youtube channel – Kathryn Rose Newey.

Happy watching, learning and saving the planet! 🙂


 

Radio Interview: Nature Conservation Novel ‘Animals in the Forest’

Radio Interview: Nature Conservation Novel ‘Animals in the Forest’

BBC 3 Counties Radio logoNick Coffer interviewed me live on BBC Three Counties Radio about my nature conservation fiction / environmental fiction book ‘Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came‘ early in January 2018. Listen to the podcast of the interview on YouTube, or watch it here:


Here’s some more information about the ‘Nature Conservation Fiction’ genre:

What exactly is ‘nature conservation fiction’ or ‘environmental fiction’?

It’s a relatively unexplored genre of fiction, which encompasses anything to do with nature, the natural environment, nature conservation, green issues, and/or wildlife and animal rights, within a story.

Why is ‘environmental fiction’ important?

Books and stories, whether they are paperbacks, e-books, audiobooks, braille books or picture books, are a wonderful way to engage young readers into new worlds.

Usually environmental fiction and nature conservation stories have significant elements which are true to life, for example, the descriptions of wild animals, or the conservation/green issues that real or fictional characters may grapple with.

The authors, including me, usually want to make readers aware that animals and the natural environment are struggling from human actions. We feel that more than ever, now’s the time that everyone needs to become aware, change their habits and take action to save mother Earth.

So how does it work in a book?

Although the story itself, the characters and perhaps even the setting may be fiction, there will be parts of the story which will be realistic and accurate. Environmental stories successfully weave non-fiction into fiction.

Environmental fiction books are therefore educational and inspirational in terms of the information and motivation they give readers. Hopefully readers will want to take further steps by researching these important issues more and then choosing positive actions based on their new knowledge.

Read more about why I feel compelled to write in the ‘Environmental Educational Fiction’ genre here.


Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came‘ is available in paperback, audiobook or e-book from:

Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com 

Available in audiobook from:

Audible.co.uk or Audible.com 


Paperbacks, audiobooks and e-books are available from most Amazon websites and major online bookstores internationally, such as Barnes & Noble, Booktopia, Foyles, Waterstones, Blackwells, etc.

Note: the Kindle reader app can be downloaded for reading Kindle e-books on any device (such as PC, Mac, iOS or Android).


 

‘Animals in the Forest’ Paperback and e-Book now available!

‘Animals in the Forest’ Paperback and e-Book now available!

Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came by Kathryn Rose NeweyAnimals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came is now conveniently available as either paperback or e-book versions on Amazon.

You can get your paperback or e-book here:

  Amazon.co.uk  or   Amazon.com 


Kids’ books are meant to be enjoyable, readable and fun, and that’s wonderful. But often they’re not about real things in the real world, and they don’t always encourage thinking and questioning. Especially not about planet Earth, the animals that live here with us, and human beings’ interaction with them and the planet…

That’s where the book Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came comes in. It’s a story to read and enjoy, but it’s also so much more. What better way to begin a journey exploring and engaging in environmental issues and nature conservation, than through a story?

Animals in the Forest: I can say the author cares about animals and the environment very much. Deep down in her heart, she wants us all to care, like her, and protect the forest and its living creatures… I rate this book 100%, it really touched my heart.” ~ Reader, aged 13

Plus there are also two comprehensive booklets of WonderWorksheets linked to literacy and environmental themes in the book, yours free.

Enjoy reading, exploring, questioning and taking action, Environmental Warriors! 🙂


Paperbacks, audiobooks and e-books are available from most Amazon websites and major online bookstores internationally, such as Barnes & NobleBooktopiaFoylesWaterstonesBlackwells, etc.

Note: the Kindle reader app can be downloaded for reading Kindle e-books on any device (such as PC, Mac, iOS or Android).


 

‘Animals in the Forest’ – Published!

‘Animals in the Forest’ – Published!

News alert: The paperback and e-book versions of Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came have been published!

Get yours from:  Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com 


I can say the author cares about animals and the environment very much. Deep down in her heart she wants us all to care, like her, and protect the forest and its living creatures. Kathryn Rose Newey is letting us step into the animals shoes and showing us the terrible feelings that the animals have when we ruin their homes. I rate this book 100%, it really touched my heart.” ~ Reader, aged 13


Don’t forget – Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came is more than just a story. It encourages questioning, research and learning around environmental issues and English  literacy skills. There are also WonderWorksheets to take your curiosity further.

Get your WonderWorksheets for free.

Have fun reading, discovering and growing, Environmental Warriors! 🙂


Paperbacks and e-books are available from most Amazon websites and major online bookstores internationally, such as Barnes & NobleBooktopiaFoylesWaterstonesBlackwells, etc.

Note: the Kindle reader app can be downloaded for reading Kindle e-books on any device (such as PC, Mac, iOS or Android).