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Duke University Press

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American Literature

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DOI: 10.1215/00029831-9003582


This article takes up science-fictional visions of the future against the “deep time” of the Anthropocene in order to explore the possibilities for utopia that remain in an era that only seems capable of producing necrofuturological dread. The piece surveys a wide range of contemporary literature and film; the key prose authors discussed are Octavia E. Butler, Margaret Atwood, Ernest Callenbach, and Kim Stanley Robinson. These texts are used to identify patterns of thought that have become habitual in the cultural moment of the Anthropocene, and they are explored as critiques of, alternatives to, and lines of flight away from its more pessimistic ideological formations.


Accepted version. American Literature, Vol. 93, No. 2 (June 2021): 255-282. DOI. © 2021 Duke University Press. Used with permission.

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