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      ‘Food from Nowhere’: Food, Fuel and the Fantastical

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          Abstract

          Science fiction (sf) has repeatedly explored the social and environmental consequences of technological developments in food and energy production. Never before have these explorations been of more importance and significance; recent shifts in resource extraction and processing (by both fossil fuel and ‘biofuel’ companies) have dramatically increased the reach and destructiveness of industrial food and energy production, as well as the extent of their entanglement. This article will begin by giving an indication of the reach and impacts of modern biofuel production, followed by a brief examination of the ‘food sovereignty’ movement and the theoretical frameworks and practical strategies that underpin it.

          Through the lens of the ‘food sovereignty’ movement, the article examines the ways in which sf writing and culture has explored the entanglement of food and energy regimes. Taking three aspects developed from the ‘six pillars’ of food sovereignty – political power, ecological integration and the fantastical – I examine three sf texts which place at their centre concerns over the entanglement of food and energy regimes. As I go on to demonstrate, all three texts – Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966), the British post-apocalyptic TV show Survivors (1975–7), and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl ( 2009) – use elements of the fantastical to explore and make visible effects which are rarely seen or only understood in the abstract language of international political economy. I then conclude by reflecting on the urgent need apply these insights in the struggle for a fairer and more sustainable food system.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Agroecology as a science, a movement and a practice. A review

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2056-6700
                Open Library of Humanities
                Open Library of Humanities
                2056-6700
                13 September 2019
                2019
                : 5
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Centre for Agroecology, Water, and Resilience, Coventry University, UK
                Article
                10.16995/olh.129
                Copyright: © 2019 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Categories
                Powering the future: energy resources in science fiction and fantasy

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