This article applies an energy lens to Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker ( 2010) and ‘The Calorie Man’ ( 2005), relying on contemporary environmental readings of Marx to explore their unsustainable metabolic relationship with nature. Situating these texts as critical dystopias, this article maps the dystopian and utopian extrapolations Bacigalupi deploys in his future post-oil society, specifically relating to the infrastructure of late energy transport and energy-related commodities. While Bacigalupi utilises ecologically-oriented genetic and industrial technologies in these texts, his work emphasises that technological solutions alone will not be able to heal our unsustainable metabolism of nature. Bacigalupi enters into cultural debates on the Anthropocene and the Great Acceleration by cognitively estranging animal and human labour, ecological ships, and genetically modified crops, while simultaneously highlighting the exploitation of both people and the environment in late capitalism. This article also explores the resultant metabolic rifts evident in both texts, drawing specific attention to the destabilised aspects of nature that elude capitalistic control and trouble spaces of production and profit, including genetically modified creatures like cheshires, and more ‘natural’ elements like storms and sea-level rise due to global warming. The article ultimately seeks to prove that Ship Breaker and ‘The Calorie Man’ mobilise a dystopian framework to highlight the imbalanced metabolism of energy production under capitalism, moving the reader towards a more realisable social, as opposed to technological, change.