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.

Not afraid of the ruins #2: Local science fictions

We are calling for more focused submissions with the goal of highlighting people, places, stories and characters that are not typically represented in the traditional Science Fiction canon. We are particularly interested in exploring ‘local science fictions’ through pieces that engage with place-based histories and geographies. The due date for submissions is January 15, 2019 January 31, 2019. Some examples for inspiration:

  • Aliens landing in Soweto, South Africa
  • Solarpunk in Belgrade, Serbia
  • The development of a sharing economy in a post-mining community, Northern Sweden
  • Local revolution against the soy plantation industry in the Cordoba Province, Argentina
  • Space colonisation, inter-planetary mining and a water-based economy in Singapore
  • Anti-petroleum activism in Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia

See the full call for submissions here.

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.”

Science fiction between utopia and critique | Essay

On different perspectives used in science fiction narratives, situated knowledge, and how discontent is useful


Science Fiction Belgrade | Essay

Imagining different realities in the works of Enki Bilal and Aleksa Gajić

July | Fiction

“She enjoys the way they fill the space with artificial flight; an awkward posture that makes their death seem comical.”

Pulling the magical lever | Essay

A critical analysis of techno-utopian imaginaries

All the water | Fiction

“Everything was on autopilot; the only thing the operator had to do was push a virtual button to engage the missiles.”


All the water | Fiction

“Everything was on autopilot; the only thing the operator had to do was push a virtual button to engage the missiles.”

Obra de Julian Bonequi