Environmental Science Fiction Before 1962

full name / name of organization: 
Eric Otto, Science Fiction Research Association
contact email: 

Published in 1962, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring is often identified as the founding text of environmentalism, namely because it generated the popular interest in environmental issues that culminated in the first Earth Day in 1970 and has since branched into a number of political and radical movements. Proposals are invited for presentations that explore science fiction's engagements with environmental issues before the full-scale emergence of environmentalism in the years after 1962. Are there authors of (proto)environmentalist science fiction that were thinking about environmental issues before such thinking was popularly accepted? What are the founding works of an environmental science fiction subgenre that Kim Stanley Robinson, Margaret Atwood, Paolo Bacigalupi, and others work in today?

This roundtable is sponsored by the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, a new professional affiliate organization of SFRA. Proposals that frame the roundtable issue within the theme of the conference ("Dreams Not Only American – Science Fiction's Transatlantic Transactions" are especially welcome). Please submit a 200 word proposal in the body of an email to Eric Otto at eotto@fgcu.edu by March 18th, 2011. See http://sfra2011.pl for more information about the conference.