Andrew Milner – The Sea and Summer: Utopia as Futurology
October 31, Building B, Room 2.20, Deakin University, Burwood, 4—6pm
Esteemed cultural theorist and literary critic, Andrew will be presenting The Sea and Summer: Utopia as Futurology, which looks at one of the earliest Australian science fiction novels to address climate change.
The “SF Masterworks” series, launched by Millennium in 1999 and currently published by Gollancz, had reached 111 titles by the end of 2012. The vast majority of these were either American or British in origin, but the list also included isolated instances of translations of Eastern European science fiction. Early in 2013 George Turner’s The Sea and Summer became the first Australian novel to be added to the list. First published in 1987, it is one of the earliest science fiction novels to devote serious attention to the politics of climate change. In 1988 it won both the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Arthur C. Clarke Award for the best science fiction novel published in Britain. The novel is organised into a core narrative, comprising two parts set in the mid twenty-first century, and a frame narrative, comprising three shorter parts set a thousand years later, amongst “the Autumn People” of the “New City”. The dystopian core narrative deals with the immediate future of our “Greenhouse Culture”, the utopian frame narrative with the retrospective reactions to it of a slowly cooling world. Turner had intended his novel as futurology and this paper will assess its adequacy as such.
RSVP October 25: firstname.lastname@example.org