Dystopias and Climate Fiction

We’re living in a dystopia right now. All of us. A climate dystopia, where our planet is falling out of equilibrium and potentially into a meterological state which puts many millions of us in peril.

Of course, writers and artists have been responding to this crisis, and indeed they have been doing so for some time. Arguably, even since before the problem was identified by scientists.

It’s impossible for any of us to ignore what’s happening to the climate, and scholars don’t either. Climatologists, climate modellers, meterologists and all manner of other scientists have been grappling with the many sides of the hyperobject. Humanities scholars have been doing their bit too, attempting to theorise ways to acknowledge, mitigate, and offset the worst impacts of climate change, often via careful examination of how creators have sought to fictionalise it.

I’m interested in the history of this, how writers explored this before it became a scientific concern. This paper on JG Ballard that I wrote as a postgraduate student seems to be perennially popular in that regard, and has been cited over thirty times to date.