The Speed of Dark and This Alien Shore: Representations of Cognitive Difference


As relatively recent works of science fiction, Elizabeth Moon’s The Speed of Dark (2002) and C.S. Friedman’s This Alien Shore (1998) both contain characters with forms of cognitive difference. The article considers how the borders of community are described by the two authors and how medical, social, and complexly embodied models of disability affect how those borders are reinscribed or expanded. The argument is that The Speed of Dark utilizes a medical model of disability in a way that does not expand the borders of community, while This Alien Shore employs a complexly embodied model of disability that does expand borders.