The Wall by John Lanchester

This is a novel that I refer to a lot in the introduction to the Last Horizon. I don’t know whether anyone else had the same reaction but hearing about this book (c. 2019) was the first time I realised that people were writing fiction about climate change. I guess you could say that around this time, the idea for the Last Horizon was born. The Wall is set in the near future: the effects of climate change are evident geographically, meteorologically and politically. The titular wall is a polder dike that surrounds the UK. It keeps out the sea – the level of which has risen dramatically – and it keeps out the others. The Wall captures the results of the disintegration of democratic politics and highlights the end result of our current direction of travel. It is all too plausible. Despite the inherent darkness of the ideas behind the text, it’s a good read. There are even ephemeral wisps of Ishiguro’s Never let me go in the way that the young who live within the wall are expected to sacrifice and do their duty: in this case serving time on the wall, rather than giving up internal organs. If you want cli-fi then this is an essential read, but worth picking up even if you don’t.