Fiction and the Sixth Mass Extinction is one of the first works to focus specifically on fiction's engagements with human-driven extinction. Drawing together a diverse group of scholars and approaches, this volume pairs established voices in the field with emerging scholars and traditionally recognized climate fiction ('cli-fi') with texts and media typically not associated with Anthropocene fictions. The result is a volume that both engages with and furthers existing work on Anthropocene fiction as well as laying the groundwork for the budding subfield of extinction fiction. This volume takes up the collective insistence on the centrality of story to extinction studies. In various and disparate ways, each chapter engages with the stories we tell about extinction, about the extinction of animal and plant life, and about the extinction of human life itself. Answering the call to action of extinction studies, these chapters explore what kinds of humanity caused this event and what kinds may live through it; what cultural assumptions and values led to this event and which ones could lead out of it; what relationships between human life and this planet allowed the sixth mass extinction and what alternative relationships could be possible.
Introduction: The Urgency of Story During the Sixth Mass Extinction / Jonathan Elmore
Chapter 1: Telling Stories about Dying (Out): Thomas Pynchon’s Global Novels and the Anthropocene Extinction / Michael Fuchs
Chapter 2: “Life Finds a Way”: Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, and Extinction Anxiety / Christy Tidwell
Chapter 3: “The Integrity of Nature”: A Comparative Analysis of Environmental Anxieties in the Fictions of H.P. Lovecraft and Jeff VanderMeer / Kristen Figgins.
Chapter 4: “My Heart Slowly Cracks”: Making Kin and Living through Extinction in Erdrich’s Future Home of the Living God / Bridgitte Barclay.
Chapter 5: “You Are Here”: Extinction as Familial in The Broken Earth / Erin DeYoung
Chapter 6: The Uncanny, the Weird, and the Eerie: Hyperobjects and Anthropocenic Modalities in China Miéville’s Three Moments of an Explosion / Allan Rae
Chapter 7: The Tragic Comedy of Humanity: Life after Species Extinction in Éric Chevillard’s Sans l’orang-outan / Christina Lord
Chapter 8: Godly Mass Extinction: Robert J. Sawyer’s Calculating God and Extinction’s Teleologies / Jenni G. Halpin
About the Contributors
Jonathan Elmore is an assistant professor of English at Savannah State University.