Imagining Hong Kong’s Ecological Futures in Speculative Fiction

Kelly Yin Nga Tse

University of Oxford, Oxford, England

In what ways might speculative fiction help reassess and rethink ecological futures in a world of inter-connectivity in postcolonial contexts? What forms of literary strategies and narrative methods are adequate to the tasks of critiquing environmental degradation and envisaging a viable future that allows for the co-existence of the human species and the environment? This paper critically engages the representation of environmental futurity in postcolonial Hong Kong short fiction in English. Specifically, it focusses on the narrativisation of what ecocritic Rob Nixon calls slow violence and examines how writers deploy the speculative mode in order to respond to the representational challenge that these incremental and un-spectacular environmental harms pose in the postcolony. In so doing, the paper foregrounds the importance of speculative fiction in articulating ecological disasters and imagining environmental repair. Overall, this paper argues for a postcolonial critique of speculative narratives that is attuned to the importance of cultural differences in re-envisioning human-environment connections.


Kelly Yin Nga Tse is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Oxford. Her research interests include world literature, postcolonial Asia, law and literature, and environmental humanities. She has published in peer-reviewed journals such as The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, and Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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