Science fiction (SF) cinema is uniquely poised to explore the ways in which our experiences of transnational, industrial labor have shifted over the long twentieth century. This article examines the emergent genre of US-Mexico border science fiction as a response to the globalized forms of labor that emerged in the post-NAFTA period, analyzing the genre’s mise-en-scène as staging the mutually constitutive dimensions of First and Third World labor. I ground my analysis of the genre through a reading of Sleep Dealer (2008), the first feature film by the documentary filmmaker Alex Rivera, and by drawing upon other border SF texts. Two tropes, I argue, run through the genre: that of the scar, staging a modernist haunting of a history of exploitation, and that of the node, embodying the increasingly dispersed grid of global capitalism. The interplay between them sets the terms for border science fiction as its own genre. Ultimately, I show, border science fiction adopts a strategic peripheral position that underscores how difference is produced within the broader SF genre, in a rereading of some of its most influential theorists. At the same time, it imagines alternative futures to the unequal flows of global capitalism.