In The End of the Anthropocene: Ecocriticism, the Universal Ecosystem, and the Astropocene, Michael J. Gormley examines literary imaginings of the Anthropocene’s end and the Astropocene’s beginning—when humans are no longer bound to the blue planet on which we evolved. Gormley analyzes literary images of human tracks on Earth, the Moon, and Mars to characterize the late-stage Anthropocene and to explore humanity’s role in the universal ecosystem. The End of the Anthropocene uses a predictive and paradigmatic model of ecocriticism, examining science fiction works as interplanetary nature narratives.
Michael J. Gormley is professor of English at Quinsigamond Community College
Chapter 1: Ecocriticism and the Universal Ecosystem
Chapter 2: Biotic World
Chapter 3: A Body in the Universal Ecosystem
Chapter 4: The Astropocene
Chapter 5: Spatiotemporal Nature
Ecocritical theorist Gormley declares the end of the Anthropocene, memorializing it in the title, and heralds its replacement by another new epoch, the Astropocene…. Drawing on ecocritical literature and sources in physics and ecology, he argues that humanity is already inhabiting the Astropocene as evidenced by repeated forays to the moon and Mars. This text envisions the death throes of the Anthropocene as it gives way to the Astropocene. Gormley even imagines humans evolving from Earth-bound into Martian form, spanning the universal ecosystem. His slim volume, dense in content and rich in metaphors, comprises five chapters…. If ecocriticism is a banquet of imaginative depictions and neologisms, Gormley offers its culminating course for students and scholars of ecocritical theory and environmental studies to savor. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates. Graduate students and faculty. General readers.
In this visionary book, Michael J. Gormley tracks the Anthropocene—a daunting task—through swampy terrain. Weaving physics and ecology into sustained readings of fiction, The End of the Anthropocene:Ecocriticism, the Universal Ecosystem, and the Astropocene invites readers into an expansive space-time that includes and exceeds planet Earth.