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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Plants in Science Fiction

Speculative Vegetation

Plants have played key roles in science fiction novels, graphic novels, and film. John Wyndham’s triffids, Algernon Blackwood’s willows, and Han Kang’s sprouting woman are just a few examples. Plants surround us, sustain us, pique our imaginations, and inhabit our metaphors – but in many ways they remain opaque. The scope of their alienation is as broad as their biodiversity. And yet, literary reflections of plant-life are driven, as are many threads of science fictional inquiry, by the concerns of today. Plants in Science Fiction is the first-ever collected volume on plants in science fiction. Its original essays argue that plant-life in SF is transforming our attitudes toward morality, politics, economics, and cultural life at large; questioning and shifting our understandings of institutions, nations, borders, and boundaries; erecting – and dismantling – new visions of utopian and dystopian futures.

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“Science fiction teaches us to ‘be-with others better.’ This is the core argument of Plants in Science Fiction, captured in one of its chapters and suffused throughout. Readers will come away with a profound and challenging understanding of what it means to be human, as well as a deep appreciation for the critical function of science fiction in a threatened world.”


Eric Otto, Florida Gulf Coast University

Plants in Science Fiction demonstrates that science fiction and ecocriticism have much to say to each other. By considering ‘speculative vegetation,’ of course, we learn much about our own lives in the present moment on Earth.’

Scott Slovic, Editor-in-Chief, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment

Table of Contents

rboreal Assemblages in Holdstock and Han - Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook
Sunlight as a Photosynthetic Information Technology: Becoming Plant in Tom Robbins’s Jitterbug Perfume - Yogi Hale Hendli
The Question of the Vegetal, the Animal, the Archive in Kathleen Ann Goonan’s Queen City Jazz - Graham J. Murphy
Queer Ingestions: Weird, Vegetative Bodies in Jeff VanderMeer’s Fiction - Alison Sperling
The Botanical Ekphrastic and Ecological Relocation - Katherine E. Bishop
Selected Bibliography

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