Science in Fiction: A Brief Look at the Potential of Communicating Climate Change through the Novel


Through a discussion of three contemporary works of fiction that take climate change as their subject matter, Tabak explores the novel as a potential vehicle for influencing public debate about climate change. She analyzes the role of both science and the scientist in the texts and paratexts of Carbon Dreams, Flight Behavior, and State of Fear, demonstrating how novels can both endorse and undermine the scientific consensus on climate change through different portrayals of scientific authority. Since novels engage readers emotionally and can bring the far-away closer to home, might they be able to communicate the complex, often distant realities of climate change in an accessible and relatable way?