Nina Munteanu’s eco-thriller Darwin’s Paradox and its prequel Angel of Chaos are described as Cli-Fi (climate fiction), an emerging sub-genre of science fiction created by journalist and climate activist Dan Bloom.
In an article in Amazing Stories, which later appeared in Europa SF, Nina Munteanu wrote about how the trend in science fiction has moved toward environmental issues. Munteanu cited her experience at the 2009 World SF Convention in Montreal where she sat on a panel with Tor executive Tom Doherty in which Doherty shared that their publishing house was currently looking for stories and heroes who worked to achieve an environmentally sustainable world through innovation and creative technology.
In 2013, Wired Magazine defined Cli-Fi or climate fiction as a “sub genre of dystopian fiction set in the near future [science fiction], in which climate change wreaks havoc on an otherwise familiar planet.” Other definitions are not as restrictive.
Munteanu’s eco-SF thriller duology, DARWIN’S PARADOX and ANGEL OF CHAOS examine humanity’s co-evolution with technology and nature in a climate-changed world.
Here is an excerpt of the description of the duology on Clifibooks.com:
From the author:
My books Angel of Chaos and Darwin’s Paradox (both with Dragon Moon Press) are stories about human evolution in a post climate change world. Climate change has created the harsh heathlands of a former Ontario and hastened the extinction of many species of wildlife. Humanity retreated into self-enclosed ecosystem-rich megacities called Icarias, protected and separated from the inhospitable wilderness.
The community of megacities is overseen by the Circle, a government of deep ecologists, trained in the laws of “Earth wisdom”.
“It was a harsh and rude environment, Julie concluded. Like thieves in the night, bell heather, gorse and purple loosestrife snatched everything for themselves, leaving nothing for the others. Like many things in nature, the heath plants, though beautiful and fragrant, were ruthlessly greedy.” (Darwin’s Paradox)
Angel of Chaos and Darwin’s Paradox tell a story of hope and renewal. The duology explores the greater perspective of “creative destruction” on a planet of great resilience and creativity. In Angel of Chaos and Darwin’s Paradox, the destructive force of climate change is connected to the planet’s ability to renew itself through evolutionary change. With each “destructive” trigger, there follows a burst of creative opportunity.
Julie, the main protagonist, finds herself the key to the next step in humanity’s evolution, triggered by climate change and the subsequent creation of enclosed cities. She is a “veemeld”, someone who can “talk to the machine world” in her head. She is also seemingly immune to a deadly environmental disease that has emerged within the enclosed cities.
Gaia, the head ecologist of the government Circle, suggests that the genetic makeup for these two traits in veemelds is by evolutionary design, and likely existed long before they were needed. She posits a new race of beings who, will inherit the new paradigm on Earth. Gaia shares this incite: “ Even a crisis that introduces a new source of chaos is likely to increase the order created by evolution. The asteroid crash millennia ago, for instance, created vast destruction and subsequent chaos; yet, it seemed to hasten the rise of mammals in the niche previously dominated by reptiles and dinosaurs.” (Angel of Chaos)
In Angel of Chaos and Darwin’s Paradox, Julie’s father is a fractal ecologist, whose Inverted Loop Model, conceived from the heretical stable chaos theory, predicts the fall of Icaria: Stable chaos, [her father had] insisted, permeated everything and everyone. Like fractals of a larger interconnected universe, each person had his or her own cycle of creative destruction to experience before merging into a greater community of consciousness. (Darwin’s Paradox)
Angel of Chaos and Darwin’s Paradox explore the greater consequences and larger ecological and evolutionary possibilities of calamity, such as that posed by climate change, and renewal.