This paper develops a take on the cultural moment of the long energy crisis (1973–1992) through two popular science-fiction texts. It divides the period in two: ‘oil shock’ and ‘oil glut’. Further periodizing Fredric Jameson’s intervention into the discussion of postmodernism and his successive naming of postmodernism as the cultural logic of late capital within this framework of crisis, I ask what might be said about postmodernism in light of this moment of fossil-fuelled turmoil in the global system. My essay has two poles each located in a text from the period: Isaac Asimov’s essay ‘The Nightmare Life without Fuel’ ( 1983) and William Gibson’s Neuromancer ( 1984). From oil shock to oil glut, this paper uses Patricia Yaeger’s and Graeme Macdonald’s work on the concept of an energy unconscious in order to begin elaborating the cultural logical of late fossil capital.