By Patricia Melzer
Although set in different worlds populated via alien beings, technology fiction is a website the place people can critique and re-imagine the paradigms that form this international, from basics corresponding to the intercourse and gender of the physique to international energy family between sexes, races, and countries. Feminist thinkers and writers are more and more spotting technological know-how fiction's power to shatter patriarchal and heterosexual norms, whereas the creators of technological know-how fiction are bringing new intensity and complexity to the style by way of attractive with feminist theories and politics. This booklet maps the intersection of feminism and technology fiction via shut readings of technology fiction literature via Octavia E. Butler, Richard Calder, and Melissa Scott and the films "The Matrix" and the "Alien" sequence. Patricia Melzer analyzes how those authors and flicks characterize debates and ideas in 3 parts of feminist idea: identification and distinction, feminist opinions of technology and expertise, and the connection between gender id, physique, and wish, together with the hot gender politics of queer wants, transgender, and intersexed our bodies and identities. She demonstrates that key political parts form those debates, together with international capitalism and exploitative category family members inside a turning out to be overseas process; the impression of computing device, commercial, and clinical applied sciences on women's lives and reproductive rights; and post-human embodiment as expressed via biotechnologies, the body/machine interface, and the commodification of wish. Melzer's research makes it transparent that feminist writings and readings of technological know-how fiction are a part of a feminist critique of present energy kin - and that the alien buildings (cyborgs, clones, androids, extraterrestrial beings, and hybrids) that populate post-modern technology fiction are as in all likelihood empowering as they're threatening.
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Extra info for Alien Constructions: Science Fiction and Feminist Thought
Octavia E. Butler and Black Women’s Writing—‘‘Speaking in Tongues’’ Viewing Butler only in relation to science fiction limits the understanding of her work in terms of black women’s imagination and cultural production, as Teri Ann Doerksen remarks in a footnote in ‘‘Octavia E. Butler: Parables of Race and Difference’’: It is unfortunate that because [Butler’s] work is marketed under the rubric of science or speculative fiction, it has been considered apart from other genres, including the body of mainstream African American fiction, and that as a result it is only rarely that she is discussed in a context that includes other African American female writers.
His narratives point to the importance of developing critical visions in regard to technology’s impact on social orders. In Chapter 6, I return to Octavia Butler’s work and discuss the ways she challenges notions of ﬁxed gender identities with her characters’ transgressive androgyny, on one hand, and queer sexualities, on the other. In the second part of the chapter, I examine Melissa Scott’s Shadow Man and the implications of her depiction of a sex/gender system based on ﬁve, rather than two, sexes.
Butler’s writing is interesting not so much for its style as for its content (plot), characterization, and metaphors that create new forms of representation. In these aspects, Butler’s work conveys its postmodern significance, located primarily in her depiction of difference and boundary crossing and their relation to power. As Frances Bonner puts it in ‘‘Difference and Desire,’’ Butler’s style is ‘‘traditional’’ (387)—her narratives stand in the typical science fiction tradition of the adventure tale.
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