Special Section

Extrapolation at Sixty

Extrapolation (2019), 60, (2), 97–115.


Special Section Extrapolation at Sixty We asked our editors and board of advisory editors to reflect upon the past, present, or future of the genre—AMB Extrapolation at Sixty The Brexit Monster Lucie Armitt Writing in the UK, at the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century, it seems to me that the speculative and interrogative aspects of fantasy and science fiction are as essential as they have ever been. In Britain, we are currently wrangling with a monster entirely of our own construction: “Brexit,” an ugly hybridization of “Britain” and “Exit” (from the European Union) resonant of Orwell’s “Newspeak” in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). The ease with which the monstrous term itself has taken on life is in direct contrast to the ever more messy political realities to which it owes its birth. In her landmark essay “A Cyborg Manifesto” (1985), Donna J. Haraway situates her conjoined monster at the juncture of two worlds, existing simultaneously as “a creature of social reality [and] a creature of fiction” (149), more specifically fantasy and science fiction. Monsters seethe, they fester, they lurk, they insinuate. Though monsters come in as many shapes and sizes as we can dream up, one feature they all share is an embodiment of “the foreign,” and the “real world” significance of science fiction and fantasy derives, in part, from our understanding that monsters require a responsive self-interrogation by viewers and readers. When Andrew Hock-Soon Ng observes that the monster can also be an “intimate stranger” (4) (a phrase especially pertinent to Britain’s tortured relationship with the countries of the European Union) the obvious realization is: perhaps the monster is “me”? Of course, the monster may threaten or do physical harm to us. It may invade our lands, destroy our homes, infect us with diseases, kill our children. Alternatively, it may simply have taken on the shape of our paranoia, holding up a mirror to Britain’s most inhuman fears. Extrapolation, vol. 60, no. 2 (2019) https://doi.org/10.3828/extr.2019.8

Works Cited

Haraway, Donna J. “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century.” 1985. Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. Free Association Books, 1991. Google Scholar

Hock-Soon Ng, Andrew. Dimensions of Monstrosity in Contemporary Narratives. Palgrave, 2004. Google Scholar

Godwin, Tom. “The Cold Equations.” 1954. The Ascent of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard SF, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer, Tor, 1994, pp. 442–458. Google Scholar

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Author details

Armitt, Lucie

Bould, Mark

Canavan, Gerry

Decker, Mark

Freedman, Carl

Frelik, Paweł

Fritzsche, Sonja

Hall, Hal

Harris-Fain, Darren

Ferreira, Rachel Haywood

Hellekson, Karen

Howey, Ann F.

Lavender, Isiah

Mendlesohn, Farah

Reid, Robin

Robertson, Benjamin J.

Sayer, Karen

Sharp, Patrick B.

Westfahl, Gary