Energy Futures, Science Fiction, and the Failure of Mastery

The After Oil Research Collective argue that ‘a genuine global transition away from fossil fuels will require not only a reworking of our energy infrastructures, but a transformation of the petroculture itself’ (After Oil, 9). In this statement, the collective refer to how petroculture has come to shape values, feelings, and societal norms. Petroculture is a field that argues that energy, and crude oil in particular, has shaped the social and cultural imaginary of the twenty first century. Their argument is that a cultural and societal transition must take place to conceive of a future free from present violent and imperialist modes of resource extraction.

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Jordan Krall’s Speculative Fiction

Speculative fiction is a paradox. Synonymous with science fiction and “genre literature,” it is also one of the most ancient modes of storytelling in literary history. One could easily identify Plato’s Atlantis

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Pod People: Brave New Worlds of Digital Audio Drama

For the last several months I have been lucky enough to have been on writing sabbatical from my university. As such, I have often found myself around and about my hometown during the day. I feel like I am a strange figure, writing in coffee shops, making enemies of baristas, running errands, and looking, to all but the most enlightened of observers, decadently unemployed. In an effort to stave off the effects of my increasingly sedentary life…

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Reconsidering Quarantine in Invasion Narratives

The academic and public interest in supernatural invasion narratives has increased exponentially in the 20th and 21st centuries. According to Terrence Rafferty of The New York Times, the fascination with the zombie apocalypse …

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From Genre to Zenre

In response to the question “what are you reading, my lord?” the young prince simply says “words, words, words!” (Shakespeare, 74). But perhaps the answer Polonius was looking for was a more…

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An Ontology of Everything on the Face of the Earth

John Carpenter’s 1982 film, The Thing, is a claustrophobic sci-fi thriller, exhibiting many hallmarks of the horror genre. The film depicts a sinister turn for matter, where the chaos of the replicating, cancerous cell is expanded to the human scale…

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Androids in the Academy

There is something uncomfortable about David, the android from Ridley Scott’s 2012 film Prometheus. This is partly due to the various interpellations…

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Alternative Fictioneers

Outside of academic postmodernism, around the edges of genre fiction, and beyond the purview of the mainstream literary novel…

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