Imagining the Future of Climate Change: World-Making Through Science Fiction and Activism

Regular price $ 18.95

by Shelley Streeby

University at California Press

1/31/2018, paperback

SKU: 9780520294455


From the 1960s to the present, activists, artists, and science fiction writers have imagined the consequences of climate change and its impacts on our future. Authors such as Octavia Butler and Leslie Marmon Silko, movie directors such as Bong Joon-Ho, and creators of digital media such as the makers of the Maori web series Anamata Future News have all envisioned future worlds in the wake of imminent environmental collapse, engaging audiences to think about the earth's sustainability. As public awareness of climate change has grown, so has the popularity of imaginative works of climate fiction that connect science with activism.

Today real-world social movements helmed by Indigenous people and people of color are leading the way against the greatest threat to our environment: the fossil fuel industry. It is through these stories and movements by Natives and people of color--both in the real world and imagined through science fiction--that we understand the relationship between culture and activism and how both can be a valuable tool in creating our future. Imagining the Future of Climate Change introduces readers to the history and most significant flashpoints in climate justice through speculative fictions and social movements to explore post-disaster possibilities and the art of world-making.

Number 5 in the University of California Press series American Studies Now: Critical Histories of the Present.


"Our climate--political, cultural, natural--is indeed changing. In this brilliant volume, Shelley Streeby takes us into a storm system where scientists, activists, and radical storytellers conspire to envision a new world. This is an original and powerful book that makes the case that the scientifically documented crisis of climate change must also be addressed through outsider imaginations." -- Alex Rivera, director of Sleep Dealer

"Shelley Streeby continues a lifelong project of anti-racist archive building in Imagining the Future of Climate Change. She offers readers a beautifully researched argument for how and why Indigenous peoples and peoples of color offer the most powerful imaginative responses to global climate collapse. The chapter on Octavia Butler alone--which gives evidence for Butler's brilliant, longstanding engagement with climate politics--makes the book a must-read for climate-change scholars and activists." -- Stephanie LeMenager, author of Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century

"The age of extinction(s) is seeping out from the permafrost every night. It is coming toward us fast from the future, and we find ourselves every morning selling off our planet from under us. This state of un-making the world is almost unstoppable, or so it seems, as Shelley Streeby's incisive new work points out--new earths are being created and have been created by the speculative fictions of Octavia E. Butler, indigenous futurism, and direct-action movements that are now fighting the ruins yet to come. Imagining the Future of Climate Change is a blossom of hope that emerges from deep intergalactic roots that call on us to save our water, our lands, and our air, and to stop selling away what little future we have left." -- Ricardo Dominguez, Electronic Disturbance Theater

About the Author:

Shelley Streeby is Professor of Literature and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and Director of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop. She is the author of Radical Sensations and American Sensations and a co-editor of Empire and the Literature of Sensation.