The “Post-Quantal Garden” Annotated




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.      

Author Biography

Jake Boswell, The Ohio State University

Jake Boswell is Associate Professor and Graduate Studies Chair of Landscape Architecture at The Ohio State University. His work centers on the entanglement of cultural, technological, and natural systems in the production of designed and vernacular landscapes, focusing on climatic imaginaries and attempts to alter climate. He comes to this interest through an education and training in landscape architecture, city planning, and cultural anthropology. He pursues this work through a hybrid practice based in historical inquiry and design speculation. He is published nationally and internationally, and his speculative and applied design works have received recognition in numerous international design competitions. In 2018 he was named an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oak's Research Library and Collection. In 2021 Boswell received the world’s first utility patent on floating concrete islands.


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Ballard, J.B. (1964). The Terminal Beach. Gollancz.

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Okung, Berman and Ling (2072) From Alik to Moreau, Questioning the giants of the Biological Age. Biology and Culture, 17(2), 9-37.

Shelley, M. & Bowers, H.P. (2073) Religion in the Chthulucene: Science, myth and the quest for meaning in an uncertain age. University of New California Press.

Special Correspondence (1905, 15 October). Failure of a Womanless Eden in the Pacific – Strange Story from the South Seas The New York Times.




How to Cite

Boswell, J. (2021). The “Post-Quantal Garden” Annotated. ETropic: Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics, 20(2), 240–250.