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Changing the climate: The politics of dystopia

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Abstract:

This paper aims to test the adequacy of various theoretical approaches to utopian studies and science fiction studies - especially those drawn from the work of Darko Suvin, Raymond Williams and Fredric Jameson - to an understanding of the history of Australian science-fictional dystopias. It argues that science fiction (SF) cannot readily be assimilated into either high literature (as utopia) or popular fiction (as genre) and rejects the widespread prejudice against both SF and dystopia in much contemporary academic literary and cultural criticism. It concludes that SF, whether eutopian or dystopian, is as good a place as any for thought experiments about the politics of climate change, a case made with special reference to the late George Turner's 1987 novel The Sea and Summer.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10304310903294754

Affiliations: Centre for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Publication date: 2009-12-01

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