Romancing the Gothic: Climate, Justice, and the Strategic Sublime

I’m very pleased to be joining the Romancing the Gothic lecture series for a session on “Climate, Justice, and the Strategic Sublime: Scenarios as Gothic Genre”.

The lecture, which will take place at 10am BST on Sunday 21st May, with a repeat at 7pm BST the same day, forms part of the “EcoHorror, Nature and the Gothic” lecture season.

Register for the 10am BST session on Eventbrite here.

Register for the 7pm BST session on Eventbrite here.

“Facing The Strategic Sublime” for BSFA Vector

“Facing The Strategic Sublime: Scenario Planning as Gothic Narrative”, my piece with Marie Mahon, is in the latest issue of the British Science Fiction Association’s Vector magazine.

You can read the article below as a PDF download, or at the Vector website.

Dots that I haven’t joined yet

I’m momentarily at rest in my beloved Brisbane, with the sun blazing down in December and bushfires on the news and Leila Taylor’s book Darkly to read.

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Taylor’s book, subtitled Black History and America’s Gothic Soul, blends memoir and criticism to explore the places where African-American history, culture, and experience meet the Gothic – from The Castle of Otranto through Edgar Allan Poe to Marilyn Manson.

I’m back in Australia helping organisations to look at their future and imagine what might await them in years to come, using scenario planning. This is a method by which, instead of trying to predict what’s coming, we co-create plausible visions of the future which challenge our current assumptions. Successful scenarios are not judged by whether they come to pass, but whether they trouble, complicate, and enrich our thinking.

And the dots which I can’t quite join yet became visible when I read this, in Darkly: “Gothic narratives were (and still are) a means of working through the discomfort of a changing world through the safety of fiction.”

Which is so close to what scenarios do as to blur the edges of the two concepts. In scenario planning we talk about avoiding the “brutal audit” of a crisis by rehearsing for the things you can’t, or don’t want to, see coming through your current framing of the world.

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