ABSTRACT

This chapter surveys some of the key contributions in the field of literary science fiction in order to discuss the ongoing appeal of apocalypse and its ability to critique a range of viewpoints agendas. It argues that apocalyptic paradigm offers a powerful framework for the interrogation of dominant and oppressive groups and practices. Biblical apocalypse offers the promise of future freedom from current troubles, it is perhaps unsurprising that its themes prove so appealing for a secular audience. Science fiction reveals imagined glimpses of a different reality, straying from the status quo and the world readers know and disclosing something new. Ketterer argues that the basic plot of science fiction disaster literature follows the sequence of events in Revelation, with four stages, namely dystopia, the warning or experience of a disaster, life post-disaster, and the establishment of a new world. Apocalypse proves useful for a range of political stances in literary science fiction.