Queer Universes

BookQueer Universes

Queer Universes

Sexualities in Science Fiction

Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies, 37


March 1st, 2008



Other Formats



Contestations over the meaning and practice of sexuality have become increasingly central to cultural self-definition and critical debates over issues of identity, citizenship and the definition of humanity itself. In an era when a religious authority can declare lesbians antihuman while some nations legalise same-sex marriage and are becoming increasingly tolerant of a variety of non-normative sexualities, it is hardly surprising that science fiction, in turn, takes up the task of imagining a diverse range of queer and not-so-queer futures. The essays in Queer Universes investigate both contemporary and historical practices of representing sexualities and genders in science fiction literature. Queer Universes opens with Wendy Pearson’s award-winning essay on reading sf queerly and goes on to include discussions about ‘sextrapolation’ in New Wave science fiction, ‘stray penetration’ in William Gibson’s cyberpunk fiction, the queering of nature in ecofeminist science fiction, and the radical challenges posed to conventional science fiction in the work of important writers such as Samuel R. Delany, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Joanna Russ. In addition, Queer Universes offers an interview with Nalo Hopkinson and a conversation about queer lives and queer fictions by authors Nicola Griffith and Kelley Eskridge.

Timely, smart, and innovative, this vital collection ensures that our conception of sf is fuller and healthier.

Science Fiction Studies, vol.36


Author Information

Wendy Gay Pearson is Assistant Professor of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. Veronica Hollinger is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at Trent University. Joan Gordon is Associate Professor of English at Nassau Community College.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Notes on Contributors11
Introduction: Queer Universes14
Part I: Queering the Scene26
Alien Cryptographies: The View from Queer27
War Machine, Time Machine52
Part II: Un/Doing History64
Sextrapolation in New Wave Science Fiction65
Towards a Queer Genealogy of SF85
Sexuality and the Statistical Imaginary in Samuel R. Delany’s114
Stray Penetration and Heteronormative Systems Crash: Queering Gibson134
Part III: Disordering Desires152
‘Something Like a Fiction’: Speculative Intersections of Sexuality and Technology153
‘And How Many Souls Do You Have?’: Technologies of Perverse Desire and Queer Sex in Science Fiction Erotica174
BDSMSF(QF): Sadomasochistic Readings of Québécois Women’s Science Fiction193
Part IV: Embodying New Worlds212
‘Happy That It’s Here’: An Interview with Nalo Hopkinson213
Queering Nature: Close Encounters with the Alien in Ecofeminist Science Fiction229
Queering the Coming Race? A Utopian Historical Imperative246
Works Cited265