The “Post-Quantal Garden” Annotated
Keywords:speculative fiction, cli-fi, JG Ballard, Marshall Islands, climate change, bio-hacking, Chthulucene, nuclear testing, tropical imaginary
The Post-Quantal Garden is a work of speculative fiction based on J.G. Ballard’s short story “The Terminal Beach” first published in 1964. Set within Donna Haraway’s climate-changed Chthulucene, the work is intended as an elliptical rumination on the history of nuclear testing in the Pacific, bio-hacking, tropicality, and apocalyptic narrative. Moving between historical fact and speculative fiction, the story takes the form of a scholarly introduction to and contextualization of fictional passages from an imaginary journal supposedly found during the very real radiological clean-up of Enewetak Atoll. Enewetak, an atoll in the Marshall Islands group, was used by the US for nuclear testing and was the site of operation Ivy-Mike, the first fusion bomb test, and is the setting for Ballard’s Terminal Beach.
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