Contemporary modes of biopolitical manipulation and commodification entail a radically new political economy of nature, a wholesale shift from the laws of biological evolution and development that have subtended much of the temporal imagination of modernity. In place of the notions of gradual but progressive growth that characterized the industrial age, extreme, fractal changes increasingly characterize our biopolitical age. We live in an era of catastrophic time. If most policy makers seem intent on ignoring or exacerbating the perils of the Anthropocene age, popular culture is gruesomely entranced by the possibility of civilizational collapse. Works of speculative fiction such as Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, on which this essay focuses, play a critically important role today by making the new extreme scales of biopolitical exploitation visible, speeding up the impact of contemporary modes of biocommodification to show their likely denouement in dystopian futures.

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