This paper examines a set of recent novels in which the problem of climate change is explicitly linked to global war and the security state. The next theater of war after or alongside the war on terror, they suggest, may well be an environment grown unpredictable because of human intervention. Drawing on Robert Marzec’s work on “environmentality,” it describes how novels like Tobias Buckell’s Arctic Rising (2012), Mark de Silva’s Square Wave (2016), and Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (2013) represent the future, past, and present of a world shaped by an “ecosecurity imaginary.” Additionally, the analysis links these narratives to scenario planning, nuclear dread, and slow violence to suggest, first, that we should expand a limited category like ‘cli-fi’ to include less obvious examples and, second, that we should consider fiction’s complicity with as well as critique of this militarized environmentalism. What is more, the analysis reveals the strong ties between this new, “hot war” and the Cold War, and identifies a shared suspicion of geo-engineering projects among contemporary writers.


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pp. 43-67
Launched on MUSE
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