How Contemporary Authors Address Environmental Science in Fiction


In recent years, there has been a growing awareness and concern for the state of our environment. With issues such as climate change, deforestation, and pollution gaining more attention, it’s not surprising that contemporary authors are incorporating these themes into their works of fiction. Through their writing, these authors are not only entertaining readers but also shedding light on important environmental issues and encouraging readers to take action.

One way that contemporary authors are addressing environmental science in fiction is by using the genre of eco-fiction. This genre focuses specifically on environmentalism and the impact of human activity on the environment. Authors like Barbara Kingsolver, Margaret Atwood, and Paolo Bacigalupi have all written best-selling novels that fall under this genre.

In their works, these authors create futuristic or alternate worlds where the consequences of environmental destruction are fully realized. For example, Atwood’s famous novel “The Year of the Flood” paints a dystopian world where corporations have taken over and the natural world is on the brink of collapse. Through her vivid descriptions, readers are forced to confront the potential consequences of our current disregard for the environment.

Another way contemporary authors are addressing environmental science in fiction is by infusing sustainability and eco-friendly practices into their characters and settings. This is especially evident in young adult fiction, where authors such as Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth have incorporated sustainable themes within their dystopian worlds. The characters in these novels often live off the land and have a strong connection to nature, highlighting the importance of living in harmony with the environment.

Additionally, authors are also exploring the impact of technology and science on the environment in a variety of ways. In Michael Crichton’s novel “State of Fear,” the main character is a scientist who becomes caught up in a global conspiracy surrounding climate change. Through this thrilling plot, Crichton explores the potential dangers of manipulating scientific data and the consequences it can have on the environment.

Contemporary authors are also addressing environmental science in fiction by creating diverse and multi-layered characters who are directly impacted by environmental issues. In Angie Thomas’ novel “The Hate U Give,” the protagonist Starr lives in a neighborhood where the effects of pollution and environmental racism are a daily reality. Through her character’s perspective, Thomas shines a light on the unequal distribution of environmental hazards and how it disproportionately affects communities of color.

Moreover, contemporary authors are using their platforms to advocate for environmental causes and inspire change. In her short story collection “Barkskins,” Annie Proulx brings attention to deforestation through the stories of several generations of families and their connections to the world’s forests. She also uses her author’s note to urge readers to take action and support organizations fighting against deforestation.

In conclusion, contemporary authors have found a powerful way to address environmental science in fiction. Through the use of eco-fiction, sustainable themes, exploration of technology’s impact, diverse characters, and advocacy, these writers are effectively using their craft to raise awareness about environmental issues and inspire readers to take action. In today’s world, where the fate of our environment is uncertain, it is crucial for literature to continue tackling these important topics. By incorporating environmental science into their works of fiction, contemporary authors are not only entertaining readers, but also playing a role in promoting a greener and more sustainable future.