Fire and Snow: Climate Fiction from the Inklings to Game of Thrones

SUNY Press
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 A broad examination of climate fantasy and science fiction, from The Lord of the Rings and the Narnia series to The Handmaid’s Tale and Game of Thrones.
Fellow Inklings J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis may have belonged to different branches of Christianity, but they both made use of a faith-based environmentalist ethic to counter the mid-twentieth-century’s triple threats of fascism, utilitarianism, and industrial capitalism. In Fire and Snow, Marc DiPaolo explores how the apocalyptic fantasy tropes and Christian environmental ethics of the Middle-earth and Narnia sagas have been adapted by a variety of recent writers and filmmakers of “climate fiction,” a growing literary and cinematic genre that grapples with the real-world concerns of climate change, endless wars, and fascism, as well as the role religion plays in easing or escalating these apocalyptic-level crises. Among the many other well-known climate fiction narratives examined in these pages are Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, The Handmaid’s Tale, Mad Max, and Doctor Who. Although the authors of these works stake out ideological territory that differs from Tolkien’s and Lewis’s, DiPaolo argues that they nevertheless mirror their predecessors’ ecological concerns. The Christians, Jews, atheists, and agnostics who penned these works agree that we all need to put aside our cultural differences and transcend our personal, socioeconomic circumstances to work together to save the environment. Taken together, these works of climate fiction model various ways in which a deep ecological solidarity might be achieved across a broad ideological and cultural spectrum.

“This book is remarkably diverse in its literary, cinematic, journalistic, and graphics-media sources, and the writing is equally authoritative in all these domains. DiPaolo’s prose moves deftly from a work of fiction to its film avatar, to the political and societal realities they address, and back again into other cultural manifestations and then into and out of the deep theory of climate fiction, literary scholarship, ecofeminism, religious tradition, and authorial biographies. It contributes considerably to all of these fields, and is indispensable for climate and environmental literature classes. It’s also a must-have for general readers of the genre.” — Jonathan Evans, coauthor of Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J. R .R. Tolkien

“I like it. No, I love it. This book is both broad and deep, and yet it remains both very readable and constantly interesting. It’s the sort of book that can only be written by someone who is a good reader of both books and culture. As I was reading it I thought, this is like being at a party and meeting someone brilliant and fun, and finding that I’m enjoying that person’s company so much that I don’t notice the time flying by. It’s not often that a scholarly book does that to me.” — David O’Hara, Augustana University
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About the author

 Marc DiPaolo is Assistant Professor of English at Southwestern Oklahoma State University and the author of War, Politics and Superheroes: Ethics and Propaganda in Comics and Film.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Aug 1, 2018
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Pages
348
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ISBN
9781438470474
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Language
English
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Genres
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Contributions by Phil Bevin, Blair Davis, Marc DiPaolo, Michele Fazio, James Gifford, Kelly Kanayama, Orion Ussner Kidder, Christina M. Knopf, Kevin Michael Scott, Andrew Alan Smith, and Terrence R. Wandtke
In comic books, superhero stories often depict working-class characters who struggle to make ends meet, lead fulfilling lives, and remain faithful to themselves and their own personal code of ethics. Working-Class Comic Book Heroes: Class Conflict and Populist Politics in Comics examines working-class superheroes and other protagonists who populate heroic narratives in serialized comic books. Essayists analyze and deconstruct these figures, viewing their roles as fictional stand-ins for real-world blue-collar characters.
Informed by new working-class studies, the book also discusses how often working-class writers and artists created these characters. Notably Jack Kirby, a working-class Jewish artist, created several of the most recognizable working-class superheroes, including Captain America and the Thing. Contributors weigh industry histories and marketing concerns as well as the fan community's changing attitudes towards class signifiers in superhero adventures.
The often financially strapped Spider-Man proves to be a touchstone figure in many of these essays. Grant Morrison's Superman, Marvel's Shamrock, Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V for Vendetta, and The Walking Dead receive thoughtful treatment. While there have been many scholarly works concerned with issues of race and gender in comics, this book stands as the first to deal explicitly with issues of class, cultural capital, and economics as its main themes.
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