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April 15, 2014
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6.13 Inches (US)
1.15 Pounds (US)
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v2.1 Reference

Green Planets

Ecology and Science Fiction

Contemporary visions of the future have been shaped by hopes and fears about the effects of human technology and global capitalism on the natural world. In an era of climate change, mass extinction, and oil shortage, such visions have become increasingly catastrophic, even apocalyptic. Exploring the close relationship between science fiction, ecology, and environmentalism, the essays in Green Planets consider how science fiction writers have been working through this crisis. Beginning with H. G. Wells and passing through major twentieth-century writers like Ursula K. Le Guin, Stanislaw Lem, and Thomas Disch to contemporary authors like Margaret Atwood, China Miéville, and Paolo Bacigalupi—as well as recent blockbuster films like Avatar and District 9—the essays in Green Planets consider the important place for science fiction in a culture that now seems to have a very uncertain future. The book includes an extended interview with Kim Stanley Robinson and an annotated list for further exploration of “ecological SF” and related works of fiction, nonfiction, films, television, comics, children’s cartoons, anime, video games, music, and more.

Contributors include Christina Alt, Brent Bellamy, Sabine Höhler, Adeline Johns-Putra, Melody Jue, Rob Latham, Andrew Milner, Timothy Morton, Eric C. Otto, Michael Page, Christopher Palmer, Gib Prettyman, Elzette Steenkamp, Imre Szeman.


“A fascinating rumination on how environmental thought and concern has been received by science fiction.”

—Ryder Miller, Portland Book Review

“[Some chapters] throw up ideas you will want to develop in entirely different directions from those taken by the authors … The book certainly fills a gap in the market and offers an invaluable starting point upon which, hopefully, other scholars will build.”—Lawrence Osborn, Interzone

“This is a serious study of the relationship between ecological science, the politics and activists of environmentalism, and modern science fiction, a subject Robinson famously explored in his Mars trilogy … This analyses [sic] the mythology of extraordinary crises, real and imagined, and the human response of real or imagined science.”—Fortean Times

“These are well documented essays explicating a variety of science fiction texts, both written and film, many of which have characters and themes directly related to ecology.”—Bruce Lindsley Rockwood, SFRA Review

“This fun anthology presents a new way of looking at where humans, the Earth, and the universe will be as a consequence of where it has been.”—L. L. Johnson, Choice Magazine

“Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction is many things: a superbly edited critical collection, a timely contribution to public discussion on the natural environment and its transformations, a useful resource for those interested in the intersections of ecology and science fiction, and a much needed study of the latter which, in the absence of a truly systematic monograph, comes as close to one as possible.”—Pawel Frelik, Science Fiction Studies

“[A]n important and timely book … All of the essays collected in Green Planets are thoughtful, engaging, and carefully argued … Green Planets will be most useful to scholars interested in bringing an ecocritical sensibility to science fiction, but its range and breadth make it appropriate for an undergraduate course as well … [T]his collection offers provocative visions for future explorations of the ways we shape the worlds we inhabit and the ways those worlds shape us.”—Bill Dynes, Extrapolation

“As with much of the collection, [Kim Stanley] Robinson's contribution pushes ecocritical thought forward while simultaneously catalyzing literary approaches to science fiction materials that would translate perfectly into classroom discussions and writing prompts. Green Planets reframes ecological literature and criticism in strange and estranging ways to help us approach and shape the ecological futures of tomorrow.”—Andrew Hageman, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment

“[T]he book certainly fills a gap in the market and offers an invaluable starting point upon which, hopefully, other scholars will build.”—Lawrence Osborn, TheosBlog


"The book posits a fundamental opposition in the genre: the future-technological city (Utopia) versus the pastoral Arcadia: each believing the other one to be the true dystopia. Add to this our ecological crisis, and you have the situation all these SF essays confront in so topical and stimulating a way. This seems to me a truly timely and contemporary, innovative collection, breaking new ground for literature and perhaps for reality as well."—Fredric Jameson, William A. Lane, Jr., Professor of Comparative Literature, Professor of Romance Studies, Duke University

"Green Planets is solid gold in terms of the breadth of the primary and secondary sources treated and the ways that the authors seamlessly intercalate their theoretical starting points and their literary examples."—Patrick D. Murphy, author of Transversal Ecocritical Praxis

"This book combines high-quality scholarship, well-known and up-and-coming authors, and scintillatingly new and relevant topics. It will set the standard for green science fiction studies, documenting the serious role that science fiction has to play in literary and cultural studies exploring the extremely pressing environmental issues of the twenty-first century."—Heather Sullivan, professor of German and comparative literature, Trinity University

9780819574275 : green-planets-canavan-robinson
Paperback / softback
312 Pages
$27.95 USD

Other Titles by Kim Stanley Robinson

Typescript of the Second Origin

Manuel de Pedrolo, translated by Sara Martín, OtherKim Stanley Robinson
Mar 2018 - Wesleyan University Press
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Other Titles in FICTION / Science Fiction / General

Robur the Conqueror

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