© 2020

Ethical Futures and Global Science Fiction

  • Zachary Kendal
  • Aisling Smith
  • Giulia Champion
  • Andrew Milner

Part of the Studies in Global Science Fiction book series (SGSF)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Ethics and the Other

  3. Environmental Ethics

  4. Postcolonial Ethics

  5. Ethics and Global Politics

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 329-335

About this book


Ethical Futures and Global Science Fiction explores the ethical concerns and dimensions of representations of the future of global science fiction, focusing on the issues that dominate utopian, dystopian, and science fiction literature. The essays examine recent visions of the future in science fiction and re-examine earlier texts through contemporary lenses. Across fourteen chapters, the collection considers authors from Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Macedonia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the UK and USA. The volume delves into a range of ethical questions of immediate contemporary relevance, including environmental ethics, postcolonial ethics, social justice, animal ethics and the ethics of alterity. 


utopian literature dystopian literature science fiction environmental ethics ecocriticism bioethics postcolonial ethics non-Anglophone literature

Editors and affiliations

  • Zachary Kendal
    • 1
  • Aisling Smith
    • 2
  • Giulia Champion
    • 3
  • Andrew Milner
    • 4
  1. 1.Monash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  2. 2.Monash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  3. 3.University of WarwickCoventryUK
  4. 4.Monash UniversityClaytonAustralia

About the editors

Zachary Kendal is a librarian in Rare Books at Monash University Library, Australia. He was recently an editor-in-chief of Colloquy: Text, Theory, Critique and is completing a PhD in Literary and Cultural Studies at Monash University, researching ethics and literary representation in science fiction.

Aisling Smith is a teaching associate in literary studies at Monash University and Deakin University, Australia. Her PhD examined affect theory and the works of David Foster Wallace. She is also a creative writer, former editor-in-chief of Colloquy: Text, Theory, Critique and an editor of the Verge: Chimera (2017) anthology.

Giulia Champion is completing her doctoral thesis at the University of Warwick, UK. Her research investigates postcolonial literature in original languages and aims to theorise literary cannibalism as a set of practices through the world ecology framework and historical materialism.

Andrew Milner is Emeritus Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Monash University, Australia, and Honorary Professor at University of Warwick, UK. He is the author of numerous books including, most recently, Locating Science Fiction (2012), Again, Dangerous Visions: Essays in Cultural Materialism (2018) and, with J. R. Burgmann, Science Fiction and Climate Change (in press).

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Ethical Futures and Global Science Fiction
  • Editors Zachary Kendal
    Aisling Smith
    Giulia Champion
    Andrew Milner
  • Series Title Studies in Global Science Fiction
  • Series Abbreviated Title Studies in Global Science Fiction
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies Literature, Cultural and Media Studies (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-27892-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-27895-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-27893-9
  • Series ISSN 2569-8826
  • Series E-ISSN 2569-8834
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XX, 335
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Postcolonial/World Literature
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“A brilliantly curated, critically-rigorous, and discerning book. It stands apart among even the best of the emerging canon of global sf studies in the range of national literatures, historical periods, and subject areas covered, and in the reach and depth of its transdisciplinary approach. This is a collection to which students and scholars in the field will return again and again.”

Terry Harpold, Associate Professor, University of Florida, USA


"This volume makes an important contribution to the theoretical debates on the question of ethics for a sustainable future. Contributors investigate global science fiction literature, explore alterity and climate change and analyse the political dimensions of utopian and dystopian narratives in different geographical and cultural contexts. It is a valuable collection for both established and new scholars from different disciplines, providing original and up to date interdisciplinary perspectives on the intrinsically global qualities of science fiction."

Raffaella Baccolini, Professor of English Literature at the University of Bologna, Italy, and co-author of Utopia Method Vision (2007) and Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination (2003)


"This book makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of how science fiction responds to contemporary ethical and political dilemmas. Four well-chosen sections frame insights into SF narratives on encounters with the other, environmental ethics, post-colonial challenges and socio-political inequality. These concerns speak directly to the felt problems of the present moment. At the same time, the collection is rooted in a rich understanding of SF’s long history of engagement with social, political and ethical issues.  The global and especially postcolonial focus of this collection is a particularly welcome to SF criticism which has only recently turned to fully address the US and Eurocentric history of the genre and its histories. We need to listen much more closely to indigenous and postcolonial stories and theories in the face of Western modernity’s impasses. Ethical Futures and Global Science Fiction puts these issues and positions into a complex and subtle conversation with reflections on the spectre of climate crisis and the persistence of global capitalism and its inequities. The collection reiterates the importance of speculative fiction to necessary thinking about probable, possible and desirable futures, and brings important new texts and voices to our attention." 

Lisa Garforth, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Newcastle University, UK, and author of Green Utopias: Environmental Hope Before and After Nature (2017)