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Green Speculations

Science Fiction and Transformative Environmentalism

Eric C. Otto

Publication Year: 2012

Science fiction goes green? Eric C. Otto explores literary science fiction’s engagement with a central concern of our times: ecological degradation. Situated at the intersection of science fiction studies and environmental philosophy, Green Speculations: Science Fiction and Transformative Environmentalism highlights key works of environmental science fiction that critique various human values for their roles in instigating such degradation. The books receiving ecocritical treatment in Green Speculations include George R. Stewart’s Earth Abides (1949), Frank Herbert’s Dune (1965), Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Word for World Is Forest (1972), Joan Slonczewski’s A Door into Ocean (1986), Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy (1993, 1994, 1996), and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl (2009). Otto reads these and other important science fiction novels as educative in their representations of environmental issues and the environmental philosophies that have emerged in response to them. Green Speculations demonstrates how environmental science fiction can be read not only as reflecting the ideas of environmental philosophies such as deep ecology, ecofeminism, and ecosocialism, but also as instrumental in thinking through the tenets of these philosophies. As such, the book places science fiction at the center of environmentalism and considers the genre to be an essential tool for prompting needed social and cultural transformation.

Published by: The Ohio State University Press


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

I would like to thank everyone who helped me bring Green Speculations to fruition. This book went from idea to first draft under the enthusiastic guidance of Andy Gordon, and I received valuable input from Sid Dobrin, Bron Taylor, and Phil Wegner. ...

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pp. 1-18

Green Speculations attends to the intersections between transformative environmentalism and science fiction literature. Transformative environmentalism comprises a number of movements that have emerged since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring initiated modern environmentalism in 1962. ...

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1. The Subversive Subject of Ecology

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pp. 19-44

Environmental philosopher Val Plumwood succinctly argues, “To the extent that we hyper-separate ourselves from nature and reduce it conceptually in order to justify domination, we not only lose the ability to empathise and to see the non-human sphere in ethical terms, ...

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2. Ecotopia, Ecodystopia, and the Visions of Deep Ecology

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pp. 45-73

The utopian societies imagined in Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia (1975) and Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time (1976) resonate with the transformative environmentalist perspective called deep ecology, which identifies anthropocentric instrumental rationality as the driver of dominant, anti-ecological socioeconomic and cultural ways of thinking and being.1 ..

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3. Ecofeminist Theories of Liberation

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pp. 74-99

In this chapter I move from deep ecology to ecofeminism, a transformative environmentalist philosophy that likewise emerged within the post-Carson atmosphere of the 1970s, matured in the 1980s, and continues to thrive today. As philosopher Karen J. Warren argues, malecentered thinking follows a “logic of domination” ...

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4. Ecosocialist Critique

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pp. 100-121

As the previous chapters have shown, environmental science fiction recurrently criticizes capitalist economic productivism and/or the ideological positions that enable this productivism. Olaf Stapledon’s Last and First Men comments on the economic exploitation of nonhuman nature. ...

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pp. 122-126

Green Speculations has addressed key works of environmental science fiction ranging from Olaf Stapledon’s 1931 Last and First Men through Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2005 Fifty Degrees Below. I want to end this book with a brief look at one of the most recently published works of environmental science fiction, ...


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pp. 127-133


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pp. 134-142


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pp. 143-152

E-ISBN-13: 9780814270363
E-ISBN-10: 0814270360
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814212035
Print-ISBN-10: 0814212034

Page Count: 176
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 868220087
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Green Speculations

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