Entering the Chthulucene? Making Kin with the Non-human in Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s Starbound Trilogy

  • Alena Cicholewski University of Oldenburg
Keywords: interspecific solidarity, kinship, Chthulucene, science fiction, young adult fiction, Starbound Trilogy

Abstract

Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s YA Starbound Trilogy takes its readers to a faraway future in which humanity has colonized several foreign planets. This is made possible through the invention of hyperspace travel by engineer and entrepreneur Roderick LaRoux, who—upon discovering that the dimensions affected by this mode of travel are inhabited by a sentient collective consciousness—imprisons and enslaves parts of this consciousness to exploit them to maximize his profits. Throughout the trilogy, six teenage protagonists encounter the imprisoned sentient non-humans (known as “whispers”), form collaborative relationships with them, and eventually set them free. In this article, I argue that while the Starbound Trilogy advocates for multispecies justice through its representation of teenagers who form alliances with non-human beings and stand up to corporate practices exploiting them, the novels ultimately fall short of abandoning their anthropocentric perspective.

Author Biography

Alena Cicholewski, University of Oldenburg

Alena Cicholewski teaches at the Institute for English and American Studies at the University of Oldenburg (Germany), where she completed her Ph.D. in English literature in 2020. Her research interests include, but are not limited to, Afrofuturism, science fiction, and young adult literature.

Published
2020-12-10
How to Cite
Cicholewski, A. (2020). Entering the Chthulucene? Making Kin with the Non-human in Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s Starbound Trilogy. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 12(2), 86-102. Retrieved from https://jeunessejournal.ca/index.php/yptc/article/view/556
Section
Articles