Apocalypse in Australian Fiction and Film

A Critical Study


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About the Book

Australia has been a frequent choice of location for narratives about the end of the world in science fiction and speculative works, ranging from pre-colonial apocalyptic maps to key literary works from the last fifty years. This critical work explores the role of Australia in both apocalyptic literature and film. Works and genres covered include Nevil Shute’s popular novel On the Beach, Mad Max, children’s literature, Indigenous writing, and cyberpunk. The text examines ways in which apocalypse is used to undermine complacency, foretell environmental disasters, critique colonization, and to serve as a means of protest for minority groups. Australian apocalypse imagines Australia at the ends of the world, geographically and psychologically, but also proposes spaces of hope for the future.

About the Author(s)

Roslyn Weaver has a PhD in literature from the University of Wollongong and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in medical humanities at Western Sydney University. Her research interests include apocalypse, popular culture, children’s literature, and speculative fiction.

Bibliographic Details

Roslyn Weaver. Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 9 photos, maps, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6051-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8465-2
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix
Preface      1
Introduction      3

1. An Apocalyptic Map: New Worlds and the Colonization of Australia      23
2. The Shield of Distance: Apocalypse in Australian
Literature After 1945      54
3. An Apocalyptic Landscape: The Mad Max Films      83
4. Children of the Apocalypse: Australian Children’s Literature      108
5. (Re)Writing the End of the World: Apocalypse, Race, and Indigenous Literature      135
6. The End of the Human: Apocalypse, Cyberpunk, and the Parrish Plessis Novels      159

Conclusion      186
Chapter Notes      191
Bibliography      201
Index      219