Science Fiction Studies

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Science Fiction Studies is published three times a year (March, July, November) by SF-TH Inc. at DePauw University. The Science Fiction Studies Website publishes abstracts of all articles, as well as the full texts of all reviews, historical documents, and selected essays appearing in the journal since its founding in 1973 by R.D. Mullen. We maintain a three-year blackout before reviews published in the journal appear on the website. Full texts of articles are posted only after an issue has been sold out and after the three-year blackout period has expired.

SFS # 131

Articles by Thomas Strychacz on The Political Economy of Potato Farming in Andy Weir’s The Martian; Stephanie Peebles Tavera's Utopia, Inc.: A Manifesto for the Cyborg Corporation; Ian Campbell on Artificial Intelligence and Community in Amad `Abd al-Salām al-Baqqāli’s The Blue Flood and Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress; Robert Yeates on Urban Decay and Sexual Outlaws in the Blade Runner Universe;  Sara Martín on The Antipatriarchal Male Monster as Limited (Anti) Hero in Richard K. Morgan’s Black Man/Thirteen; Stephen Dougherty on Radio, the Genome, and Greg Bear’s Biological Fiction; Chris Pak on Grotesque Bodies, Multispecies Flourishing, and Human-Animal Relationships in Joan Slonczewski’s A Door into Ocean; Derek K. Thiess on Historical Revision and Embodied Age in Joan Slonczewski’s Children Star and Brain Plague.

Call for Papers #1. Special Issue: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at 200.

Science Fiction Studies is currently soliciting proposals for a July 2018 special issue celebrating the bicentennial of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), a work that forever changed the genre of science fiction. In Frankenstein, Shelley experimented not only with subject matter, new scientific inventions and their many terrifying and horrific possibilities, but also narrative and form. Her use of multiple frame narratives, nested one within another, was a notable shift from the eighteenth-century novels she grew up reading, and her merging of popular culture’s fascination with science and the Gothic broadened the emerging genre of science fiction. Her refusal to provide a clear didactic lesson left readers to judge for themselves the actions of Victor Frankenstein, and the ending left the Creature’s fate unclear, the possibility of its survival forever impacting future readers and writers. Adaptations and appropriations of Shelley’s narrative and form have become staples of science fiction, and as such, Frankenstein holds a celebrated spot as a creative source that inspires subsequent science fiction.

Shelley’s novel did not always enjoy the critical acclaim and canonical status that it now holds. Nonetheless, Frankenstein continues to resonate and influence the definitions, forms, narratives, and media of contemporary science fiction and contemporary authorship. In what ways does Frankenstein’s influence transform how authors and readers understand the limits of science fiction? How do the genre-bending and metafictional components of Frankenstein influence definitions of science fiction? What does Frankenstein have to say about the current political climate and global issues such as citizenship, immigration, and war? These questions have inspired this call for papers, and the editors envision this special issue as a celebration of Mary Shelley, the legacy of Frankenstein,and the light it continues to cast on science fiction since its publication. Essays that explore the intersections of recent science fiction novels and critical approaches are particularly encouraged, as are essays that consider cross-media adaptations of Frankenstein or Frankenstein-inspired narratives. Other potential topics could include:

Adaptations (art, comics, theatre, videogames, etc.,)                     
Animal Studies                                                                                  
Culture of 1818 & 2018 (citizenship, immigration, war)            
Digital Humanities                                                                           
Digital Media                                                                               
Disability Studies                                                                          
Globalization and postcolonial                                                 

Medical Humanities
Popular Culture
Science and technology (AI, robotics)
Visual Culture

Please send proposals (300-500 words) by 1 Aug. 2017 to Michael Griffin ( and Nicole Lobdell ( Completed papers (6000-8000 words) will be due by 1 Oct. 2017.

Call for Papers #2. SFS is planning a special issue on “Science Fiction and the Climate Crisis” that we see as part of an urgent and ongoing conversation with colleagues in the humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences. In the energy humanities and other interdisciplinary fields, the climate crisis unfolds differentially as description, allegory, abstract model, immanent materiality, slow apocalypse, and the end of humanist philosophy. We welcome submissions that address the intersections of science fiction and the climate crisis in historical and/or theoretical terms and in multiple media forms from the pulps to science-fiction media and art. We encourage papers that reflect on and explore genre hybridity, including modalities such as climate fiction, petrofiction, and slipstream. What does one look for when science fiction overlaps with the climate crisis? Is it the punctual events of the thriller genre or the slower pacing of a carefully considered longue durée that grabs critical attention? Moreover, how does climate figure in sf—as foreground or background? Which sf authors or texts stay nervous about the climate crisis? Is there a parallel between science-fictional estrangement and the defamiliarization of neologisms such as the Anthropocene, hyperobjects, necrocapitalism? Contributions might also consider how the climate crisis figures in sf in light of the energy regime. For instance, what differences obtain between figurations of coal crisis and depictions of nuclear disaster? How does the way we use energy affect the reach and scope of sf writing? Conversely, what impact, if any, does climate crisis have on our understanding of the role of science fiction in technoculture? We are looking for submissions that contribute substantial overviews of the current situation and that explore a variety of sites and authors. In addition to papers focused on the ways in which sf engages the climate crisis, energy regimes, and multiple ecologies (real or imagined), we are interested in discussions that draw on feminist and queer futurities, swerve with the nonhuman turn, analyze the vicissitudes of capitalism’s secular crisis, and follow the utopian impulse. We see immediacy in climate crisis—we must act now—and yet we appreciate a long view of global warming as well—the slow accretion of carbon that has so recently tipped the atmospheric balance of the planet. Please send proposals (300-500 words) by 1 Jun. 2017 to Brent Ryan Bellamy (<>) and Veronica Hollinger (<>). Completed papers (6000-8000 words) will be due by 1 Dec. 2017.



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        X-RA Man Search Engine  (Full site search by keywords) 

         Recent Issues (Contents pages of the most recent issues of SFS, with links to article abstracts; reviews subject to one-year blackout)       

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        xray Awards Page (Mullen Fellowship Winners and Pioneer Award Winning Essays published in SFS)

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      critics Bibliographies and Chronologies of Science Fiction

       Documents in the History of SF (Primary sf texts of historical significance that have appeared in SFS)  

      wormholes Wormholes (A list of useful and interesting sf-related links)  

      wasf The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction

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Archived issues of SFS (from 1973 onward) are available on JSTOR to participating institutions.


SFS website designed and maintained by Istvan Csicsery-Ronay. This site is best viewed using Mozilla Firefox 14 or higher. Site last updated June 17, 2016.