[T]he great, irreplaceable potentiality of fiction is that it makes possible the imagining of possibilities.

When future generations look back upon the Great Derangement they will certainly blame the leaders and politicians of this time for their failure to address the climate crisis. But they may well hold artists and writers to be equally culpable—for the imagining of possibilities is not, after all, the job of politicians

This book began as a set of four lectures, presented at the University of Chicago in the fall of 2015. The lectures were the second in a series named after the family of Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin.