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Terraforming: Ecopolitical Transformations and Environmentalism in Science Fiction

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ISBN: 9781781384541 9781781382844 Year: Pages: 263 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_608319 Language: English
Publisher: Liverpool University Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2016-05-22 11:01:07
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Abstract

Terraforming is the process of making other worlds habitable for human life. Its counterpart on Earth – geoengineering – is receiving serious consideration as a way to address climate change. Contemporary environmental awareness and our understanding of climate change is influenced by science fiction, and terraforming in particular has offered scientists, philosophers, and others a motif for thinking in complex ways about our impact on planetary environments. This book asks how science fiction has imagined how 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 science fiction from H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds (1898) to James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar (2009), in stories by such writers as Olaf Stapledon, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin, Ernest Callenbach, Pamela Sargent, Frederick Turner and Kim Stanley Robinson. It argues for terraforming as a nexus for environmental philosophy, the pastoral, ecology, the Gaia hypothesis, and the politics of colonisation and habitation. 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.

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