Not afraid of the ruins

Not afraid of the ruins is a new collaborative writing project for utopian dreamers, other-worldly explorers and psychonautic adventurers, scholars, activists, students, and critics. Over the past year, we’ve collected  stories and critical essays, reviews and poetry—all dedicated to science fiction, climate fiction, and utopian imaginings. The goal of this section is to regularly showcase new, original, creative and critical reflections to foster intimate and productive conversations across the intellectual and creative arts.

The fertile ground between science fiction and social/environmental justice has long been an arena for speculation and exploration by academics, activists, and creative writers. From the academy to the field and beyond, the works of science fiction writers such as Octavia E. Butler, Ursula Le Guin and Margaret Atwood (among many, many others) have presented unique corollaries to the diverse worlds and experiences we encounter in political ecology and social/environmental justice research and activism. Our goal with this project is to create a space explicitly open to exploring such convergences, a space that is neither formally academic nor wholly creative fiction, but instead, in the true spirit of Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, seeks to tap the potential that exists in the liminal space between these otherwise isolated worlds of thought. We hope that such an endeavor will produce seeds for imagining that will go forward and populate unexpected places both far and near.

 

The naked eyes | Fiction

“Keith’s livelihood was sandwiched between an ocean of algorithms and a ceiling of decision-making programs.”

 

Library | Poetry

A climate change poem

 

Borne on a damaged planet | Book review

Two books that do the hard work of thinking through the Anthropocene

Waterways | Fiction

“After the Division, Avon split from Greater Thames and declared a matriarchy”

 

The collector | Fiction

“When you upload the dream, I cease to be a dreamer…”

 

Encyclopedia of the mad gardener | Poetry

“They feel the smells seep into their nasal channels, dioxins boiled under the pink moon.”

 

 

Avatar revisited | Essay

Gesturing at decolonization of the great epistemological divides

 

URGENT REPORT Protomunculus spp | Fiction

“If an infected robionic is discovered at any stage, universal mandate requires its immediate incineration”

 

Dreaming spaces | Reflections

“Everywhere is filled with the dream of what could grow, slowly coming true”

Krishna never looks up | Fiction

“Several tentacle-antennae coiled around his extended arm like Medusa’s hair.”

Fish out of water | Fiction

“For those who refuse to be humble, the earth has a way of insisting upon humility.”

 

The Craven mode of production: Introduction | Fiction

“Theirs was an undeveloped society, I thought, and their success over the past centuries has been largely accidental.”

 

Mother Frankenstein | Essay

Revisiting feminist science fiction history-telling

 

“Their only constraints now were the limitations of imagination”

 

Odetta, Odessa | Fiction

“The sisters slow their rocking and let the man walk back to his car. They know what has to be done to keep him away.”

 

Endless life | Fiction

A post from a future

 

The post-Columbian exchange | Essay

How content creators continue to misuse Indigenous culture, and how they can do better

 

The swell | Fiction

“We were waiting to be accepted as refugees in Iceland, the only country left in the region with stable electricity from their geothermal resources, and the only place that would take UK citizens.”