While nature is often claimed to be a space of harmonized balance or an antidote to the chaos of the modern world, we need a more grounded assessment of nature as endlessly changing and much less predictable than we like to assume. In this essay, I explore Karen Traviss’ provocative exploration of unbalanced nature and unbounded bodies in her wess’har series with the guidance of two ecocritics who reject the concept of balanced nature, Dana Phillips and Ursula Heise. Additionally, I turn to the environmental philosopher Val Plumwood for insights regarding Traviss’ spurious yet rather standard vision of an unlimited technological panacea. Traviss’ series portrays how the boundaries and limits that we perceive as solid are often much less so than we believe, yet she also reveals—inadvertently, it seems—how easily we blindly ignore other, more solid limits.
“Unbalanced Nature, Unbounded Bodies, and Unlimited Technology: Ecocriticism and Karen Traviss’ Wess’har Series.” Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society 30.4 (2010): 274-84