Edging Into the Future: Science Fiction and Contemporary Cultural Transformation

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Veronica Hollinger, Joan Gordon
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 278 pages

Edging into the Future explores contemporary science fiction literature and media as imaginative expressions of an already science-fictional present and as literal descriptions of postmodern culture. Thirteen noted scholars and writers, including Brian Attebery, Gwyneth Jones, and Gary K. Wolfe, provide an overview of the state of contemporary science fiction and emphasize the diversity of ways in which science fiction as a narrative mode and as a social discourse comments upon contemporary cultural, political, and technological transformations.

As the essays in Edging into the Future demonstrate, science fiction is both symptomatic of cultural disruption and change and an expression of our desire to give shape and meaning to that change. These essays examine a variety of science fiction forms, from literature to rock 'n' roll, and from film to anime and hypermedia, exploring such topics as generic transformation, the relationship of the body to technology, gender and sexuality, the construction of both individual and communal subjects, and the contemporary sense of an ending. They point to the intriguing directions in which science fiction continues to develop, while demonstrating that the challenge for the genre today is less to extrapolate a distant future than to keep up with a permanently mutable present in which genres, subjects, bodies, communities, and futures are all in flux.

The essays in this collection, representing a multiplicity of perspectives, are bound together by their common focus on science fiction literature and media as forms of cultural expression uniquely suited to address the pressures and promises of contemporary culture.

 

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….Add “Captain Kutchie Pelaez” To
Make This The All-Time Greatest Film Ever Made!….
…Could. “Clint” Eastwood. Possibly Be Competing With “Captain Kutchie
Pelaez” For The Position Of “The World’s Most Interesting Man”..
Perhaps?…But Then Again Perhaps He Is Just Waiting For “Kutchie Pelaez and Frankie Valli” To “Make His Day”!…Ha, Go Figure!….
….We Heard A Few Years Back That Megyn Kelly Of Fox News, Really Loved Her Some Of Captain Kutchie’s And Anita Pelaez’s Famous Key Lime Pies! Could That Make Megyn “The Most Interesting Lady In The World?….I Guess “NO” On That One, That One Would Have To Be “The Lovely –Mrs. Anita Pelaez” The Queen Of The Key Lime Pie World!
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You Know, It’s No Wonder That Everyone Calls “Captain Kutchie
Pelaez”..The Most Interesting Man In The World! Did You Know That
Kutchie Drinks Those Wonderful Mixed Drinks Named In His Honor Called “Kutcharitas”.?. There A Hell Of A Lot Better Than Any Mexican Beers. And Much Stronger To Boot!
….That Sunken Ship In The News These Days,
….It’s Been Resting Down On The Bottom Of The Sea Since Way Back In
1857, “Mel Fisher” Even Overlooked That One!… “Yankee Jack” and “Micheal
McCloud” Now Have Reason To Write Another Song…(Hint-Hint-Hint) “Jack” Listen-Up Here!
….Hell, We Can’t Find A Boeing 777 That’s Been Lost Only A Little Over
A Few Months Now! Could It Be Because The Jet Had No Silver and Gold Aboard, Just People?….Go Figure……
….Good Thing That All The ….(“Anita And Kutchie Pelaez’s Key West Key Lime Pie Shops”)..Are All Showing Increasing Pie Sales Throughout All They’re Areas Of Distribution. Consumers Just Never Seem To Reach They’re Fill Of Those “Yummy Key Lime Pies” That The “Peleaz’s Working Partner Team” Continues To Produce. They Have Been Called “Love At First Bite”. Everyone Agrees, That The Loving Couple Have Been Baking They’re Culinary Delectables Over 40-Years Now!….
Isn’t She Wonderful?….”AAAHHHH”, The Magic Of The Gorgeous “Mrs. Anita Pelaez” Well She Is Something Else!…She’s The Real Thing Baby!….
….Who The Hell Does That “Kutchie Pelaez” Think That He Is?….”Frankie Valli” Or Some Big-Shot Like That?
….It’s No Wonder That People Are All Calling Him “The Most Interesting Man In The World”,…Big Girls Don’t Cry…Do They?….
….Don’t Cha Just Love Em!?….We Sure Do!….It is A Well Known Fact
That “Captain Kutchie Pelaez” Knows Who Put The Bomp In The Bomp Shoo Bomp Shoo Bomp And The Rama In The Rama Lama Ding Dong!.
He Even Knows Who Put The Dip In The Dip Da Dip Da Dip!…How Cool Is That?….
….a-good-1-4-u-2-n-joy-ok!..
.”Very Interesting”!….
….”Frankie Valli and Kutchie Pelaez”..Did Make-It As Big As “Frank Sanatra”.
….”Yeah” A Few Wise Guys They Certainly Were “Frankie Valli, Kutchie Pelaez and Joe Pesci”!….Together “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight”!…..
….Mafiosi Wanna-Bee’s. The Key Lime Pie “Wild Bunch”. They’ve
 

Contents

Genre Implosion
9
Evaporating Genre Strategies of Dissolution in the Postmodern Fantastic
11
Omniphage Rock n Roll and AvantPop Science Fiction
30
Synthespians Virtual Humans and Hypermedia Emerging Contours of PostSF Film
57
Imploded Subjects and Reinscripted Bodies
73
Staying with the Body Narratives of the Posthuman in Contemporary Science Fiction
75
But Arent Those Just You Know Metaphors? Postmodern Figuration in the Science Fiction of James Morrow and Gwyneth Jones
90
Sexuality and the Figure of the Hermaphrodite in Science Fiction or The Revenge of Herculine Barbin
108
Apocalypse Coma
159
Kairos The Enchanted Loom
174
Dead Letters and Their Inheritors Ecospasmic Crashes and the Postmortal Condition in Brian Stablefords Histories of the Future
190
Utopia Genocide and the Other
204
DisImagined Communities Science Fiction and the Future of Nations
217
Notes
239
Bibliography
251
Contributors
267

Mutant Youth Posthuman Fantasies and HighTech Consumption in 1990s Science Fiction
124
Going Postal Rage Science Fiction and the Ends of the American Subject
142
Reimagined Apocalypses and Exploded Communities
157
Index
271
Acknowledgments
279
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Page 265 - I saw their starved lips in the gloam With horrid warning gaped wide, And I awoke and found me here On the cold hill's side. And this is why I sojourn here Alone and palely loitering, Though the sedge is wither'd from the lake, And no birds sing.

About the author (2002)

Veronica Hollinger is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at Trent University in Ontario. Joan Gordon is Associate Professor of Literature at Nassau Community College. Together they coedited the volume Blood Read: The Vampire as Metaphor in Contemporary Culture, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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