Ice-Sheet Collapse and the Consensus Apocalypse in the Science Fiction of Kim Stanley Robinson
Contribution to Book
Cambridge University Press
The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Climate
The breakdown of what Donald Wollheim once called the ‘consensus future’ of science fiction – a spacefaring human civilisation migrating to the moon, Mars, the outer solar system, and beyond – has coincided with increasingly dire warnings about the true consequences of technological modernity on the planet. Where the future once seemed to be a site of unlimited possibility, it now appears to be a site of ever-worsening catastrophe and collapse. This chapter considers what might be called the ‘consensus apocalypse’, but also looks beyond it to consider techno-utopian and ecotopian visions of a non-disastrous future for humanity, with a thematic focus on figurations of sea-level rise due to ice-sheet collapse, especially in the work of Kim Stanley Robinson.
Canavan, Gerry, "Ice-Sheet Collapse and the Consensus Apocalypse in the Science Fiction of Kim Stanley Robinson" (2022). English Faculty Research and Publications. 596.