“Changing Landscapes”

Ecocritical Dystopianism in Contemporary Indigenous SF Literature


  • Conrad Scott University of Alberta




Contemporary Indigenous sf writing demonstrates how modern interactions with landscapes, waters, and ecologies are troubled by socioenvironmental problems as current social processes increasingly drive future changes to places recognizable in the present day. In the resulting ecocritical dystopias, a focus on geographical traces relatable to the real world permits Indigenous writers imagining the future to connect their narratives more urgently and tangibly to issues relevant today. Social dynamics drive and are driven by the alterations to environments and places within such Indigenous sf works. In its speculative presentation of environmental, geographical, cultural, and other shifts from the time of modern society, this body of fiction draws from a variety of concerns to ponder why our actions today might produce dystopian futures—and to consider how better choices and futures might be possible. Through a reading of recent Indigenous sf writing and a focus on the cases studies of Harold Johnson’s Corvus (2015) and Louise Erdrich’s Future Home of the Living God (2017), this paper will examine ecocritical dystopianism through the lens of contemporary Indigenous sf writing.

Author Biography

Conrad Scott, University of Alberta

CONRAD SCOTT holds a PhD from and is an Instructor in the University of Alberta’s Department of English and Film Studies, on Treaty 6 / Métis lands. He researches contemporary sf and environmental literature, and his current project examines the interconnection between place, culture, and literature in a study of environment and dystopia in contemporary North American fiction. His reviews and essays have appeared in Science Fiction Studies, Extrapolation, Paradoxa, The Goose, Environmental Philosophy, UnderCurrents, and Canadian Literature. He is also the author of Waterline Immersion (Frontenac House 2019).




How to Cite

Scott, C. (2022). “Changing Landscapes”: Ecocritical Dystopianism in Contemporary Indigenous SF Literature. Transmotion, 8(1), 10–38. https://doi.org/10.22024/UniKent/03/tm.979