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Strange NaturesFuturity, Empathy, and the Queer Ecological Imagination$
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Nicole Seymour

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037627

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037627.001.0001

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Attack of the Queer Atomic Mutants

Attack of the Queer Atomic Mutants

The Ironic Environmentalism of Shelley Jackson’s Half Life

(p.147) 5 Attack of the Queer Atomic Mutants
Strange Natures

Nicole Seymour

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the alternate reality of the 2006 novel Half Life, wherein the United States has implemented a program of self-bombing to atone for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This bombing gives rise to a politicized minority of conjoined twins—modeled satirically on, and overlapping with, queer communities—who then serve as emblems of peaceful, post-nuclear coexistence. In examining Half Life's revision of Atomic Age history, this chapter focuses on the queer ecological implications of its narrative form. This chapter studies the novel's so-called “ironic environmentalism”; in so doing, it builds on previous work in environmentalist rhetoric and establishes irony as a new topic of inquiry for queer ecology.

Keywords:   Half Life, Atomic Age history, queer ecology, ironic environmentalism, irony, queer communities, post-nuclear coexistence

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