1st Edition

Cultural Legal Studies of Science Fiction

Edited By Alex Green, Mitchell Travis, Kieran Tranter Copyright 2025
    334 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book presents and engages the world building capacity of legal theory through cultural legal studies of science and speculative fictions.

    In these studies, the contributors take seriously the legal world building of science and speculative fiction to reveal, animate and critique legal wisdom: juris-prudence. Following a common approach in cultural legal studies, the contributors engage directly, and in detail, with specific cultural ‘texts’, novels, television, films, and video games in order to explore a range of possible legal futures. The book is organized in three sections: first, the contextualisation of science and speculative fiction as jurisprudence; second, the temporality of law and legal theory; and third, the analysis of specific science and speculative fictions. Throughout, the contributors reveal the way in which law as nomos builds normative universes through the narration of a future.

    This book will appeal to scholars and students with interests in legal theory, cultural legal studies, law and the humanities, and law and literature.

    1. The collapse and the spiral: Law, culture and science fiction 

    Alex Green, Mitchell Travis and Kieran Tranter 

    Part I: Foundation 

    2. The magnitudes of law and science fiction 

    Kieran Tranter 

    Part II: The high castle – science fiction as legal theory 

    3. Dystopian jurisprudence 

    Mitchell Travis 

    4. Black/African science fiction and imaginative resistance: explorations towards a racially just jurisprudence of the future 

    Folúkẹ́ Adébísí 

    5. There is no ‘I’ in law: The past and future of legal authority and subjects 

    Chris Dent 

    6. The three-body problem: Prometheus, Pandora, and the cosmic jurisprudence 

    Moira McMillan 

    7. Law, sovereignty and its subversions in Ann Leckie’s Ancillary JusticeAncillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy 

    Daniel Hourigan 

    8. Experimenting in legal dystopia: Conceptualising and interrogating socio-legal and jurisprudential problems in science fiction video games 

    Craig John Newbery-Jones 

    9. Sir Samuel Griffith and utopia: Characterising the politician 

    Karen Schultz 

    Part III: The shadow proclamation – fevered legality in sci-fi franchises 

    10. ‘The circle must be broken’: Imagining legal monsterhood through Doctor Who 

    Steven S Kapica 

    11. No way out: The liberal fantasy of rebellion in Andor 

    Isaac Henry 

    12. Boldly gone: The estranged presence of law in Star Trek 

    Kieran Tranter 

    Part IV: Others 

    13. Ex silico: Fictions, predictions and personhoods in film and law 

    Bruce Baer Arnold 

    14. Ectogestation as emancipation: A feminist science fiction 

    Zoe L Tongue 

    15. Dreaming of electric sheep: Android lessons for nature 

    Felicity Deane


    Alex Green is Lecturer in Law at the University of York, UK

    Mitchell Travis is Director of the Centre for Law and Social Justice at the University of Leeds, UK.

    Kieran Tranter is Chair of Law, Technology and Future at the School of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Australia.