Science Fiction Studies: Special Issue on Climate Crisis

deadline for submissions: 
June 1, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Science Fiction Studies

SFS is planning a special issue on “Science Fiction and the Climate Crisis” that we see as part of an urgent and ongoing conversation with colleagues in the humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences. In the energy humanities and other interdisciplinary fields, the climate crisis unfolds differentially as description, allegory, abstract model, immanent materiality, slow apocalypse, and the end of humanist philosophy. We welcome submissions that address the intersections of science fiction and the climate crisis in historical and/or theoretical terms and in multiple media forms from the pulps to science-fiction media and art. We encourage papers that reflect on and explore genre hybridity, including modalities such as climate fiction, petrofiction, and slipstream.

What does one look for when science fiction overlaps with the climate crisis? Is it the punctual events of the thriller genre or the slower pacing of a carefully considered longue duréethat grabs critical attention? Moreover, how does climate figure in sf—as foreground or background? Which sf authors or texts stay nervous about the climate crisis? Is there a parallel between science-fictional estrangement and the defamiliarization of neologisms such as the Anthropocene, hyperobjects, necrocapitalism? Contributions might also consider how the climate crisis figures in sf in light of the energy regime. For instance, what differences obtain between figurations of coal crisis and depictions of nuclear disaster? How does the way we use energy affect the reach and scope of sf writing? Conversely, what impact, if any, does climate crisis have on our understanding of the role of science fiction in technoculture?

We are looking for submissions that contribute substantial overviews of the current situation and that explore a variety of sites and authors. In addition to papers focused on the ways in which sf engages the climate crisis, energy regimes, and multiple ecologies (real or imagined), we are interested in discussions that draw on feminist and queer futurities, swerve with the nonhuman turn, analyze the vicissitudes of capitalism’s secular crisis, and follow the utopian impulse. We see immediacy in climate crisis—we must act now—and yet we appreciate a long view of global warming as well—the slow accretion of carbon that has so recently tipped the atmospheric balance of the planet.

Please send proposals (300-500 words) by 1 Jun. 2017 to Brent Ryan Bellamy (<>) and Veronica Hollinger (<>) Completed papers (6000-8000 words) will be due by 1 Dec. 2017.