Abolition Science Fiction

A book launch and conversation with Dr Phil Crockett Thomas, editor of Abolition Science Fiction.

14th June 2023

How can we move beyond recognising the need to abolish prisons to really abolishing them? What might be the steps that lead from one to the other? 

The path certainly includes imagining a world without prisons, which is what this volume achieves. Abolition Science Fiction – edited by Phil Crockett Thomas, Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Stirling – is a new (and free!) collection of science fiction short stories written by activists and scholars involved in prison abolition and transformative justice in the UK.

The stories are not all explicitly about prison abolition, but all of them explore the underlying question of how we can live well together by tackling complex topics like violence, revenge, responsibility, care, and community. They can help us imagine a future in which we respond to harm without exclusion and punishment, grappling with Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s contention that ‘abolition requires that we change one thing: everything.’ 

Printed alongside the stories are extracts from the conversations that took place in the workshops where the stories were written. The book also includes creative writing exercises and discussion prompts, which can help readers explore ideas about abolition and transformative justice in creative ways. The book is aimed both at those curious about abolition and at seasoned activists who want to explore abolition through creative writing. Join our discussion of this valuable intervention in one of the most important issues of our era.

Phil is joined by two panelists: Ali Eisa, contemporary artist, educator and public programmer, Lecturer in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, and one half of performance art duo Lloyd Corporation; and Sarah Lamble, Reader in Criminology & Queer Theory at Birkbeck, University of London, co-founder of the Bent Bars Project, and an organiser with Abolitionist Futures.

This event is the twenty-sixth in the ISRF’s series of Book Launches.