Terraforming: Ecopolitical Transformations and Environmentalism in Science Fiction

Chris Pak

£80.00
- +

ISBN: 9781781384541

Publication: June 1, 2016

Series: Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies 55

This book explores the emergence and development of terraforming in science fiction from H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds (1898) to James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar (2009). Terraforming is the process of making other worlds habitable for human life. Its counterpart on Earth – geoengineering – has begun to receive serious consideration as a way to address the effects of climate change. This book asks how science fiction has imagined the ways we shape both our world and other planets and how stories of terraforming reflect on science, society and environmentalism. It traces the growth of the motif of terraforming in stories by such writers as H.G. Wells and Olaf Stapledon in the UK, American pulp science fiction by Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, the counter cultural novels of Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin and Ernest Callenbach, and Pamela Sargent’s Venus trilogy, Frederick Turner’s epic poem of terraforming, Genesis, and Kim Stanley Robinson’s acclaimed Mars trilogy. It explores terraforming as a nexus for environmental philosophy, the pastoral, ecology, the Gaia hypothesis, the politics of colonisation and habitation, tradition and memory. This book shows how contemporary environmental awareness and our understanding of climate change is influenced by science fiction, and how terraforming in particular has offered scientists, philosophers, and many other readers a motif to aid in thinking in complex ways about the human impact on planetary environments. Amidst contemporary anxieties about climate change, terraforming offers an important vantage from which to consider the ways humankind shapes and is shaped by their world.

Chris Pak is Editor-in-Chief of the Science Fiction Research Association's SFRA Review.

Acknowledgements Introduction: Terraforming: Engineering Imaginary Environments Shaping Earth and the Solar System Sf as Environmental Literature A Disciplined Thought Experiment: Landscaping, SF and Terraforming The Lay of the Land 1: Landscaping Nature’s Otherness in Pre-1960s Terraforming and Proto-Gaian Stories Terraforming as a Site for Environmental Philosophical Reflection The War on Nature in Wells’ The Shape of Things to Come and John Russell Fearn’s “Earth’s Mausoleum” Nature’s Otherness and Terraforming in Stapledon’s Last and First Men and Star Maker Deism and Teleology in Stapledon’s Essays of Myth Creation Pre-1940s Proto-Gaian Living Worlds Proto-Gaian Scientific Romance: M.P. Shiel’s The Purple Cloud and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “When the World Screamed” The Pulp SF Proto-Gaian Cluster The Decline of the Living World Motif in 1950s American Pulp Sf 2: The American Pastoral and the Conquest of Space The Garden of the World in Early 1950s Terraforming Stories The Burden of Hope in the Garden of the Chattel: 1950s Consensus Dystopias Moral Extensionism in Late 1950s-Early 1960s Terraforming Stories 3: Ecology and Environmental Awareness in 1960s-1970s Terraforming Stories 1960s-1970s Proto-Gaian Living Worlds Terragouging: Time and the Forest Terraforming in the 1960s-1970s Terraforming and Ecopolitics in the Dune Sequence The Garden in Dune Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia 4: Edging Toward an Eco-Cosmopolitan Vision Building Critical Spaces: Pamela Sargent’s Venus Domes on Venus: Chronotopes of Enclosure The Pastoral in Pamela Sargent’s Venus Trilogy Frederick Turner’s Genesis: An Epic Poem 5: Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy Gardens on Mars “Stepping Back” Visions Reflected Back to Earth Closed Life-Support Systems, Soil and Cybernetics Eco-Economics and the Landscape as Mirror Science and Nature On Martian Myths Acknowledgements Introduction: Terraforming: Engineering Imaginary Environments Shaping Earth and the Solar System Sf as Environmental Literature A Disciplined Thought Experiment: Landscaping, SF and Terraforming The Lay of the Land 1: Landscaping Nature’s Otherness in Pre-1960s Terraforming and Proto-Gaian Stories Terraforming as a Site for Environmental Philosophical Reflection The War on Nature in Wells’ The Shape of Things to Come and John Russell Fearn’s “Earth’s Mausoleum” Nature’s Otherness and Terraforming in Stapledon’s Last and First Men and Star Maker Deism and Teleology in Stapledon’s Essays of Myth Creation Pre-1940s Proto-Gaian Living Worlds Proto-Gaian Scientific Romance: M.P. Shiel’s The Purple Cloud and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “When the World Screamed” The Pulp SF Proto-Gaian Cluster The Decline of the Living World Motif in 1950s American Pulp Sf 2: The American Pastoral and the Conquest of Space The Garden of the World in Early 1950s Terraforming Stories The Burden of Hope in the Garden of the Chattel: 1950s Consensus Dystopias Moral Extensionism in Late 1950s-Early 1960s Terraforming Stories 3: Ecology and Environmental Awareness in 1960s-1970s Terraforming Stories 1960s-1970s Proto-Gaian Living Worlds Terragouging: Time and the Forest Terraforming in the 1960s-1970s Terraforming and Ecopolitics in the Dune Sequence The Garden in Dune Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia 4: Edging Toward an Eco-Cosmopolitan Vision Building Critical Spaces: Pamela Sargent’s Venus Domes on Venus: Chronotopes of Enclosure The Pastoral in Pamela Sargent’s Venus Trilogy Frederick Turner’s Genesis: An Epic Poem 5: Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy Gardens on Mars “Stepping Back” Visions Reflected Back to Earth Closed Life-Support Systems, Soil and Cybernetics Eco-Economics and the Landscape as Mirror Science and Nature On Martian Myths Conclusion Coda Works Cited Primary Works Cited Secondary Works Cited Index

'Pak’s magisterially complete history of the idea of terraforming marks an important milestone in science fiction studies. He rightly sees the terraforming concept as the ideal test-bed for an astonishingly wide range of crucial gedankenexperiments in many fields. His analysis of the social, political, philosophical, spiritual, and moral dilemmas that the terraforming genre offers—humanity’s place in nature only the most obvious--makes this a book of importance far beyond the science fiction community.' Frederick Turner
 

Terraforming: Ecopolitical Transformations and Environmentalism in Science Fiction is the first study to trace the historical development of environmental science fiction, and it convincingly frames this development within the genre’s representation of planetary adaptation...Pak’s is a very good book.
Professor Eric Otto, Florida Gulf Coast University





 

Format: Ebook

Copyright: © 2016

ISBN: 9781781384541

Publication: June 1, 2016

Series: Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies 55

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