Reply To: Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson

  • Susan Kaye Quinn

    January 24, 2024 at 2:29 pm

    Great summary! And such a pleasure to be in conversation with everyone.

    As an alternative to the hero’s journey, I mentioned Gail Carriger’s Heroine’s Journey, which talks about a different (not gendered) narrative structure where the protagonist’s connection to family and community is broken and the arc of the story is about rebuilding community/family, making allies, compromise not revenge, and ultimately reconnection as the goal. Highly recommend.

    I’m also going to look up Ghosh’s 2019 novel Gun Island (recommended by Holden), that I’m hoping is his personal response to his own critique of the lack of capital-L literature engaging with the Anthropocene, especially with stories of collective (in The Great Derangement).

    Anand also mentioned Ursula K. LeGuin’s Carrier Bag of Fiction, which is a very short essay that I re-read often, almost as a devotional, my little purple copy with a preface by Donna Haraway that is likewise powerful. “It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrested a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another and then another…” but it’s precisely this story of building and care that needs telling. This collective story of all of us, our parts in surviving the Anthropocene and possibly rescuing the future from disaster… the stories that got us into this mess are unlikely to be the ones that get us out.