By Gerry Canavan
Contemporary visions of the longer term were formed through hopes and fears concerning the results of human expertise and international capitalism at the flora and fauna. In an period of weather swap, mass extinction, and oil scarcity, such visions became more and more catastrophic, even apocalyptic. Exploring the shut courting among technology fiction, ecology, and environmentalism, the essays in Green Planets ponder how technological know-how fiction writers were operating via this drawback. starting with H. G. Wells and passing via significant twentieth-century writers like Ursula okay. Le Guin, Stanislaw Lem, and Thomas Disch to modern authors like Margaret Atwood, China Miéville, and Paolo Bacigalupi—as good as contemporary blockbuster motion pictures like Avatar and District 9—the essays in Green Planets consider the $64000 position for technological know-how fiction in a tradition that now turns out to have a truly doubtful destiny. The e-book contains a longer interview with Kim Stanley Robinson and an annotated checklist for additional exploration of “ecological SF” and comparable works of fiction, nonfiction, movies, tv, comics, children’s cartoons, anime, games, track, and extra.
Contributors contain Christina Alt, Brent Bellamy, Sabine Höhler, Adeline Johns-Putra, Melody Jue, Rob Latham, Andrew Milner, Timothy Morton, Eric C. Otto, Michael web page, Christopher Palmer, Gib Prettyman, Elzette Steenkamp, Imre Szeman.
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Extra info for Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction
In The Environmental Debate: A Documentary History, with Timeline, Glossary, and Appendices, ed. Peninah Neimark and Peter Rhoades Mott (Amenia, NY: Grey House, 2010), 209. 14. , 210. 15. ” The derivation of the “Zeroth Law” allows the robots to effectively ignore all the “Three Law” safeguards humans had installed to protect themselves from their creations, and ultimately leads to the establishment of a cabal of immortal robots that secretly orchestrates the coming millennia of future history, in accordance with what they determine to be humanity’s best interests.
The Utopians recount that one of the first initiatives set in motion following the creation of a Utopian world-state was the implementation of the long-cherished ideal of a systematic extermination of tiresome and mischievous species. A careful inquiry was made into the harmfulness and the possibility of eliminating the house-fly, for example, wasps and hornets, various species of mice and rats, rabbits, stinging nettles. Ten thousand species, from disease-germ to rhinoceros and hyena, were put upon their trial.
Thus, unexpectedly, Wells’s “pessimistic” early novel produces an impulse toward cross-species identification, while his more “optimistic” later novel produces a fantasy of total control through exterminative violence that is predicated upon anthropocentrism and human exceptionalism. The contrasting resolutions to comparable scenarios presented in The War of the Worlds and Men Like Gods suggest that the early twentieth century’s growing understanding of the interrelationships between organisms and their environment produced a new sense of power over nature that countered evolutionary anxieties regarding the dethronement of human beings but also potentially diminished the sympathy with the nonhuman that this sense of dethronement had made possible.
Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction by Gerry Canavan