Eco Science Fiction – The Trendy Sub-Genre

Even though Wikipedia has pages outlining many of Science Fiction’s sub-genres, it seems that Eco Science Fiction (Eco SF) is missing. It’s no crime, but Eco SF  is in my mind legitimate, though not always in the public eye.

Perhaps this is speculation on my part, but I believe the main reason Eco SF lacks transparency is because it falls into a pattern of social trends. Sometimes being popular, other times not. There seems to be a few others listed in Wiki: Christian; Feminist; Gay/Lesbian; Libertarian. So why not Eco SF? Its existence is noted in Eco-Fiction (Stadler 1971) and Science Fiction and Organization (Higgens, 2001).

Convinced? Okay, no one wants to read lengthy non-fictions about SF these days. I would then simply point out some the great Eco SF classics that come to mind. How about Pohl and Kornbluth’s The Space Merchants (1953)? Or J.G. Ballard: The Drowned World (1962) ;The Burning World (1964). And let’s not forget Dune by Herbert (see my previous blog).

In conclusion, I would like to mention that with the advent of global warming and attention to carbon footprints, it seems we’re seeing a resurgence of this trendy sub-genre. I think it’s a sign of a healthy readership, and I welcome its coming.

Let’s just hope the trend doesn’t run out of fuel, so to speak.

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4 responses to “Eco Science Fiction – The Trendy Sub-Genre

  1. John Brunner’s The Sheep Look Up (1972) has to be included in your list of my read eco sci-fi — especially since it’s a somewhat early and influential installment.

    If you haven’t read it, you must….

  2. I have a copy that I was about to start reading. But, it is currently outgunned by The Scar, by China Mieville. Will get to it soon. The Sheep Look Up was a sequel to Stand on Zanzibar, but I’m curious how you would compare the two. Was one better than the other?

  3. It’s not exactly a “sequel” — there are no recurrent characters and the world isn’t directly link. They really are completely stand alone novels. Stand on Zanzibar is my favorite sci-fi work of all time — The Sheep Look Up is somewhere in the top 30 or so. Stand on Zanzibar is definitely the better work although The Sheep Look Up fits better within eco sci-fi…

    Brunner’s The Jagged Orbit and The Shockwave Rider are also worthwhile…

  4. Being a fan of Eco thinking /living and a lover of science fiction I found that my own writing reflects that. I have a four book series out right now and it isn’t finished. There are at least two more books coming in the set. It’s a pity that with all of the categories that Amazon has to classify a book they have missed Eco-scifi.

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