Article ID: CBB995910945

A Sociology of Failure: Migration and Narrative Method in US Climate Fiction (2020)


This paper identifies what it terms a sociology of failure at work in American climate fiction novels dealing with the subject of climate-induced migration within the United States. Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Water Knife and Claire Vaye Watkins’s Gold Fame Citrus exemplify this trend inasmuch as their accounts of future climate migrants derive from outdated migrant typologies. Drawing from C. Wright Mills’s Sociological Imagination and Kim Stanley Robinson’s “ease of representation,” this essay argues such cases call attention to the imaginative failure that characterizes public understandings of climate migration in particular. Ultimately, this account identifies the sociological methods within cli-fi that mark imaginative failure as a problem both in-text and for readers of these texts.

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Authors & Contributors
Petroski, Henry
Cheng, John
Benzer, Matthias
Cordle, Daniel
Fogel, Cathleen Ann
Press, Daniel
British Journal for the History of Science
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
Technology and Culture
Social Science History
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
University of Pennsylvania Press
Cambridge University Press
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Arizona
Princeton University
Science and literature
Science fiction
Climate and climatology
Emigration; immigration
Climate change
Science and culture
Wells, Herbert George
Goddard, Robert Hutchings
Adorno, Theodor W.
Time Periods
21st century
20th century, early
20th century, late
19th century
20th century
18th century
United States
Southeast Asia
Great Britain
Southern states (U.S.)

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