Fantasy and Myth in the Anthropocene: Imagining Futures and Dreaming Hope in Literature and Media (Hardcover)
The first study to look at the intersection of the discourse of the Anthropocene within the two highly influential storytelling modes of fantasy and myth, this book shows the need for stories that articulate visions of a biocentric, ecological civilization. Fantasy and myth have long been humanity's most advanced technologies for collective dreaming. Today they are helping us adopt a biocentric lens, re-kin us with other forms of life, and assist us in the transition to an ecological civilization. Deliberately moving away from dystopian narratives toward anticipatory imaginations of sustainable futures, this volume blends chapters by top scholars in the fields of fantasy, myth, and Young Adult literature with personal reflections by award-winning authors and illustrators of books for young audiences, including Shaun Tan, Jane Yolen, Katherine Applegate and Joseph Bruchac.Chapters cover the works of major fantasy authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien, Terry Prachett, J. K. Rowling, China Mi ville, Barbara Henderson, Jeanette Winterson, John Crowley, Richard Powers, George R. R. Martin and Kim Stanley Robinson. They range through narratives set in the UK, USA, Nigeria, Ghana, Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Australia. Across the chapters, fantasy and myth are framed as spaces where visions of sustainable futures can be designed with most detail and nuance. Rather than merely criticizing the ecocidal status quo, the book asks how mythic narratives and fantastic stories can mobilize resistance around ideas necessary for the emergence of an ecological civilization.