1st Edition

Climate Fiction and Cultural Analysis A new perspective on life in the anthropocene

By Gregers Andersen Copyright 2020
    164 Pages
    by Routledge

    162 Pages
    by Routledge

    Climate Fiction and Cultural Analysis argues that the popularity of the term "climate fiction" has paradoxically exhausted the term’s descriptive power and that it has developed into a black box containing all kinds of fictions which depict climatic events and has consequently lost its true significance.

    Aware of the prospect of ecological collapse as well as our apparent inability to avert it, we face geophysical changes of drastic proportions that severely challenge our ability to imagine the consequences. This book argues that this crisis of imagination can be partly relieved by climate fiction, which may help us comprehend the potential impact of the crisis we are facing. Strictly assigning "climate fiction" to fictions that incorporate the climatological paradigm of anthropogenic global warming into their plots, this book sets out to salvage the term’s speculative quality. It argues that climate fiction should be regarded as no less than a vital supplement to climate science, because climate fiction makes visible and conceivable future modes of existence within worlds not only deemed likely by science, but which are scientifically anticipated.

    Focusing primarily on English and German language fictions, Climate Fiction and Cultural Analysis shows how Western climate fiction sketches various affective and cognitive relations to the world in its utilization of a small number of recurring imaginaries, or imagination forms.

    This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of ecocriticism, the environmental humanities, and literary and culture studies more generally.


    Introduction: The Birth of a New Type of Fiction

    A Brief History of Global Warming

    What is Climate Fiction?

    The Context of this Book

    Presentation of Content

    Chapter 1: Cultural Hermeneutics

    Hermeneutics and Preunderstanding

    Approaching Climate Fiction

    Chapter 2: The Social Collapse

    From the Broken Social Contract to Climate War

    Post-apocalyptic Worlds

    The Uncanny as a Mood

    The Uncanny Relation to the World

    Chapter 3: The Judgment

    The Judgment in Cultural History

    The Judgment in Climate Fiction

    Serres, Latour, and the Imagination Form

    Another Uncanny Relation to the World

    The Judgment as a Denial of Responsibility

    Chapter 4: The Conspiracy

    The Conspiracy in Cultural History

    Doomsday Atmospheres

    The Arrival of the Super Computer

    Crichton and The Conspiracy

    The Suspicious Relation to the World

    Chapter 5: The Loss of Wilderness

    The Loss of Wilderness in Cultural History

    The Destructiveness of Humanity

    Another Suicidal Ice Lover

    Heidegger and the Imagination Form

    The Loving Relation to the World

    Chapter 6: The Sphere

    The Sphere in Cultural History


    The Globe

    Sloterdijk and the Imagination Form

    The Anthropotechnical Relation to the World

    Chapter 7: The Birth of a New Perspective

    Beyond the Grid of the Imagination Forms

    Two Functions of Climate Fiction



    Gregers Andersen is a postdoctoral researcher in environmental humanities at the Department of English, Stockholm University. He has published articles in several international journals on how literature, films, cultural theory, and philosophy can shed light upon human and non-human conditions in the Anthropocene.