Deep Space and Deep Ecology: Biocentric Justifications for Violence and Population Control in the Science Fiction of L. E, Modesitt, Jr (Critical Essay) By Extrapolation

Deep Space and Deep Ecology: Biocentric Justifications for Violence and Population Control in the Science Fiction of L. E, Modesitt, Jr (Critical Essay)

By Extrapolation

  • Release Date: 2007-03-22
  • Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines

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Description

In her introduction to The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula Le Guin describes science fiction as being neither "speculative" nor "predictive" (xii), but rather as "describing certain aspects of psychological reality in the novelist's way, which is by inventing elaborately circumstantial lies" (xv). In his science fiction novels, L. E. Modesitt presents "elaborately circumstantial lies" informed by ecology, biology, genetics, biochemistry, agriculture, economics, political science, martial arts, and engineering to explore what a society informed by ecological principles might look like. Frequently, his protagonists face problems created by people who thought they could alter ecosystems with impunity. Modesitt creates ecologically informed utopias or "no-places," places that do not truly exist, but these are not impossibly paradisiacal fantasies. Rather, they illustrate Carl Freedman's description of utopian science fiction in Critical Theory and Science Fiction, in which "the future is the object of hope, of our deepest and most radical longings. These are longings that can never be satisfied by the fulfillment of any individual wish (say, for personal wealth) but that demand, rather, a revolutionary reconfiguration of the world as a totality" (64). In his narrative thought experiments, Modesitt tinkers with alternative societies, attempting to create truly biocentric cultures.