BDSM in American Science Fiction and Fantasy

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Palgrave Macmillan, Oct 19, 2012 - Fiction - 225 pages
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This is a history of the decades-long love affair between a powerful alternative sexuality called BDSM (bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism) and an innovative narrative genre called science fiction and fantasy (SF&F). The book shows how SF&F provides easy access to the language, symbols, rituals and ethics of BDSM. Science fiction and fantasy offer strikingly positive representations of BDSM, while the marginal status of SF&F ensures that these representations will not normalize BDSM out of existence. These sympathetic yet subversive representations encourage audiences to view BDSM as an ethical sexuality, while simultaneously permitting BDSM to retain its transgressive identity. This book explores representations of BDSM in the Wonder Woman comics of the 1940s, in the novels and short stories that Samuel Delany and James Tiptree wrote between the 1960s and 1980s, and in the television shows of the 1990s and 2000s: Buffy, Angel, Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse.

 

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Contents

BDSM + SFF Love
1
BDSM in William Moulton Marstons Wonder Woman Comics
27
BDSM in the Science Fiction and Fantasy of Samuel R Delany
58
Power Sex and Death in the Science Fiction of James Tiptree Jr
89
Battlestar Galacticas Existential Kink
119
BDSM on Buffy and Angel
147
Slavery and Ethics in the Dollhouse
183
Notes
194
References
199
Index
212
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About the author (2012)

LEWIS CALL is an associate professor of History at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, USA. He is the author of Postmodern Anarchism and numerous articles about post-anarchism. He has written extensively about alternative narrative genres like science fiction and fantasy, alternative sexualities like BDSM, and the important intersections between these genres and these sexualities. He holds the Mr. Pointy Award for Buffy Studies scholarship.