Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-2

First and foremost, I must thank God for providing me with the ambition and requisite skills to see this collection to fruition. Second, I thank my wife, Heather, for all of her love, support, prayer, and sacrifice; my sons, Kingsley and Frazier; and my sister, Melissa, for their patience with me. Though I have...

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Introduction: Coloring Science Fiction

Isiah Lavender III

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pp. 3-12

My earliest memory is waking up in my father’s arms, a light rain falling on my face, as he carried me into the house. At some point in the summer of 1977, I fell asleep during the trash compactor scene of Star Wars at the Grandview Drive-In located in Angola, New York. I had missed the epic light-saber duel...

PART ONE: Black Planets

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The Bannekerade: Genius, Madness, and Magic in Black Science Fiction

Lisa Yaszek

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pp. 15-30

Over the past decade, Afrodiasporic intellectuals have called for new images of black genius in relation to science and technology. Given science fiction’s status as the premier narrative of technoscientific modernity, it is perhaps no surprise that these same intellectuals have consistently turned to the genre...

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“The Best Is Yet to Come”; or, Saving the Future: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Reform Astrofuturism

De Witt Douglas Kilgore

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pp. 31-47

A strongly skeptical analysis of the Star Trek franchise’s liberal astrofuturism (the idea that an American advance into a wide-open space frontier might solve social and political problems) uncovers the ways in which it fails to fully realize the political hopes it proclaims.1 It can be argued that Trek’s principal...

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Far beyond the Star Pit: Samuel R. Delany

Gerry Canavan

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pp. 48-64

Written in 1965 and published in 1967, Samuel R. Delany’s early novella “The Star Pit” presents for its reader an intergalactic narrative landscape in which a final, unbreakable constraint has been imposed on the ability of certain people to achieve. Humanity has expanded off Earth into a thriving network of...

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Digging Deep: Ailments of Difference in Octavia Butler’s “The Evening and the Morning and the Night”

Isiah Lavender III

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pp. 65-82

Society often fears diseased bodies. Victims are marked as Other and made to suffer by healthy citizens, who often degrade and stereotype these people in ways that have similar social impacts to race and racism because hale citizens dread contamination. Octavia E. Butler’s story “The Evening and the Morning...

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The Laugh of Anansi: Why Science Fiction Is Pertinent to Black Children’s Literature Pedagogy

Marleen S. Barr

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pp. 83-98

A current Kindle television commercial adroitly addresses my notion that SF is especially pedagogically pertinent to black children. The commercial portrays a black boy who cannot contain his excitement when he tells his grandmother that he wishes to use his new Kindle to read about...

PART TWO: Brown Planets

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Haint Stories Rooted in Conjure Science: Indigenous Scientific Literacies in Andrea Hairston’s Redwood and Wildfire

Grace L. Dillon (Anishinaabe)

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pp. 101-116

Several years ago Robert Warrior (Osage) spoke at the Native Student and Community Center at Portland State University in Oregon. Almost digressing from his prepared comments on social justice issues, he brought up his advocacy for the decolonization and restoration of Freedman peoples to their...

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Questing for an Indigenous Future: Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony as Indigenous Science Fiction

Patrick B. Sharp

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pp. 117-130

Recent studies have highlighted how science fiction functions within a system of genres: discussions of whether a text is “science fictional” enough to be included in the genre have been left behind, along with the taxonomic definitions of genre that supported them. A text that includes science fictional...

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Monteiro Lobato’s O Presidente Negro (The Black President): Eugenics and the Corporate State in Brazil

M. Elizabeth Ginway

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pp. 131-145

Monteiro Lobato’s O presidente negro; ou, O choque das raças (The Black President; or, The Clash of the Races) (1926) figures prominently among the Brazilian utopias to emerge in the early twentieth century, a time of incipient industrialization.1 Although Brazilian utopias written during this period...

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Mestizaje and Heterotopia in Ernest Hogan’s High Aztech

Lysa M. Rivera

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pp. 146-162

The narrative strategies of science fiction are germane to political critique, as they enable writers to couch mundane social and political issues in the invigorating rhetoric of speculation.1 Going where “no man has gone before,” SF writers explore not only imaginary and extraterrestrial places but contested...

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Virtual Reality at the Border of Migration, Race, and Labor

Matthew Goodwin

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pp. 163-176

Like many emerging technologies, virtual reality calls for metaphor.1 The “frontier” and “colonization” have proven to be some of the most durable. The frontier metaphor appeared early in cyberpunk fiction with William Gibson’s novel, Neuromancer (1984), in which the protagonist Case is identified...

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A Dis-(Orient)ation: Race, Technoscience, and The Windup Girl

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pp. 177-194

As a part of popular culture, science fiction’s imagined futures have always engaged questions of race—either through direct treatment of racial politics or more commonly through the absence of people of color. In fact, if, as John Rieder argues in his influential Colonialism and the Emergence of Science Fiction...

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Reflections on “Yellow, Black, Metal, and Tentacled,” Twenty-Four Years On

Edward James

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pp. 195-198

In 1988 or thereabouts, Americanist Philip J. Davies asked me to contribute to a book he was editing, Science Fiction, Social Conflict, and War (1990). I offered to write him a piece either on race in American science fiction or on violent revolution. To my consternation, he asked me to write both, which I...

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Yellow, Black, Metal, and Tentacled: The Race Question in American Science Fiction

Edward James

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pp. 199-222

The “race question,” the problem of the relations between different “racial” groups, has been in existence in North America since the earliest contacts between Europeans and Amerindians. With the arrival of other ethnic groups, above all African slaves, and with the rise of nineteenth-century science...

CODA

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“The Wild Unicorn Herd Check-In”: The Politics of Race in Science Fiction Fandom

Robin Anne Reid

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pp. 225-240

In 1998, Samuel R. Delany published an article, “Racism and Science Fiction” in The New York Review of Science Fiction; the article was later reprinted in Sheree R. Thomas’s anthology, Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora (2000).1 Delany’s article inspired the formation of...

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Contributors

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pp. 241-244

Marleen S. Barr is known for her pioneering work in feminist science fiction and teaches English at the City University of New York. She has won the Science Fiction Research Association Pilgrim Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction criticism (1997). Barr is the author of Alien to Femininity:...

Index

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pp. 245-250