How can the speculative imagination help us build a better world?
At a world-historical moment of global upheaval, speculative writing is enjoying a renaissance. This collection of poetry, stories, and essays engages speculation as both a ubiquitous feature of financial capitalism and a radical tool of collective imagination. By rejecting dominant ideas about what is possible, speculation empowers us to plot new paths to a more just world.
Creative works range over violence and healing, memory and erasure, and alternative worlds, while essays span the meaning of land and community in the African diaspora, Octavia Butler’s speculative fiction, and the ethics of the far future. Taken together, these works suggest that speculation is ultimately about our relationships with each other—as one contributor puts it, “what they have been, what they are, and most important, what they could be.”
Contemporary life has been deeply molded by financialization. But the speculative imagination can also be a tool for building a more just world.
The Origin of Cow Therapy
Unleashing Nightmares: Octavia Butler’s Heart of Darkness
My grandmother tells me she loved you fiercely
in the way she reaches for me when your name
In his new book, philosopher William MacAskill implies that humanity’s long-term survival matters more than preventing short-term suffering and death. His arguments are shaky.
To not have had the luxury to think “the world is over,” but to feel it instead.
The God Gene
Footage of Benjamin, the Last Living Tasmanian Tiger—1935, Colorized
What does it mean for those living in the diaspora to remain attached to the land they left behind?
Cat of Nine Tails
An Island Without Sea
I begin to feel my body rise / and I can believe / in what freedom must feel like.
This is my version of the story, but I will illuminate only a corner of it, one that ran parallel to and underneath it, revealing what was left in its wake.
In the 1974 cult-classic teleplay Penda’s Fen, the past holds the key to escaping the catastrophic present. We too can learn from wilder pasts in our confrontations with capitalism today.