Who have I missed? Who have I included in error?

[I suspect I am short on horror - and will go through the Wordsworth list - on short story writers especially recent, paranormal romance. I include those resident in Britain even if not born there. Some names are pen names, some are real names of those who have published under pseudonyms. There should be many more children's writers, but that's tough choices. I will try not to be defensive in comments (but will fail - some names I've hesitated to add though the aim is inclusivity here) and I'm sure I've overlooked the bleeding obvious]

[bold = added after initial post, due to comments or memory]

[The list has an eye on science fiction, but includes the gothic, the utopia, and various shades of horror and fantasy; at the moment I want to cast as wide a net as I can]

Aiken, Joan
Askew, Alice
Austin, Mary Hunter
Bailey, Hilary
Baird, Wilhelmina
Baldwin, Louisa
Battley, Lanah
Behn, Aphra
Beresford, Elisabeth
Bevington, L. S.
Billson, Anne
Blackman, Malorie
Blaze de Bury, Marie
Bowen, Marjorie
Bramston, M.
Brémont, Anna
Bronte, Charlotte
Bronte, Emily
Broster, D.K.
Buchanan, Eileen-Marie Duell
Buffery, Judith
Burdekin, Katharine
Burford, Barbara
Butt, Beatrice May
Butts, Mary
Cadigan, Pat
Carrington, Leonora
Carter, Angela
Cavendish, Margaret
Chapman, Vera
Chater, Elizabeth
Clapperton, Jane Hume
Cleeve, Lucas
Cobbe, Frances Power
Coleridge, Christabel R.
Collins, Erroll
Conquest, Joan
Constantine, Storm
Cooper, Susan
Corbett, George, Mrs
Corelli, Marie
Delaire, Jean
Dixie, Florence
Du Maurier, Daphne
Duke, Madeleine
Eccles, Charlotte O'Conor
Edwards, Amelia
Eliot, George
Elphinstone, Margaret
Everett, H.D.
Fairburn, Zoe
Farningham, Marianne
Fenn, Jaine
Fletcher, Jane
Fortune, Dion
Fox, Mary
Frankau, Pamela
Galbraith, Lettice
Gapper, Frances
Gaskell, Elizabeth
Gaskell, Jane
Gee, Maggie
Gentle, Mary
Gibbons, Stella
Glyn, Coralie
Grant, Joan
Griffith, Nicola
Griffiths, Isabel
Guttenberg, Violet
Haldane, Charlotte
Hall, Lesley A.
Hall, Sandi
Hall, Sarah
Hamilton, Cicely
Hamilton, Mary
Harrison, Eva
Haywood, Eliza Fowler
Hill, Susan
Hughes, Monica
Hungerford (The Duchess)
Ireland, Beverley
James, P.D.
Jameson, Storm
Jones, Charlotte Rosalys
Jones, Diana Wynne
Jones, Gwyneth
Kaveney, Roz
Keegan, Mel
Kendall, May
Kennedy, Leigh
Knight, Ellis Cornelia
Knowles, Mabel Winifred
Lawrence, Louise
Lee, Tanith
Lee, Vernon
Lennox, Charlotte
Lessing, Doris
Levene, Rebecca
Lively, Penelope
Livia, Anna
Loudon, Jane C.
Manley, Mrs.
Mansfield, Katherine
Mark, Jan
McNeill, Pearlie
McKenna, Juliet
Meade, L. T.
Minnett, Cora
Mirlees, Hope
Mitchison, Naomi
Molesworth, Mrs
Mulholland, Rosa
Murphy, Jill
Nesbit, E.
Oliphant, Mrs [Margaret]
Palmer, Jane
Pearce, Philippa
Pollack, Rachel
Radcliffe, Ann
Rayner, Jacqueline
Robson, Justina
Rowling, J. K.
Saxton, Josephine
Sayers, Dorothy L.
Schreiner, Olive
Scott, Lesley
Scott, Sarah
Scrymsour, Ella M.
Shelley, Mary
Sherwood, Margaret Pollock
Sidney, Mary
Sinclair, Alsion
Sinclair, May
Stern, G. B.
Sullivan, Tricia
Sutcliff, Rosemary
Swanwick, Anna
Tennant, Emma
Thomas, Bertha
Thomas, Sue
Thomason, Sue
Traviss, Karen
Tuttle, Lisa
Urquhart, Emma Maree
Vivian, E. C.
Walton, Jo
Warner, Sylvia Townsend
Waters, Sarah
Weamys, Anna
Weldon, Fay
West, Rebecca
Whiteley, Elizabeth
Whitfield, Kit
Williams, Liz
Woolf, Virginia
Wootton, Barbara
Wright, Frances
Wright, Helen
Wroth, Mary
Zoline, Pamela
faustus: (Default)
( May. 18th, 2011 10:44 am)
The 50 SF Books You Must Read @ Forbidden Planet
forbiddenplanet.com
Think you know SF? Sure? Our experts have picked the top 50 SF books that you absolutely have to read! Challenging? Confusing? Contentious? Conforntational? Then comment!

http://forbiddenplanet.com/picks/50-sf-books-you-must-read/





I can't access this on my computer, bloody modem, but can on my phone and 49th on the list is Zoo City - but can you guess what the other three books by women are? Given the inability to spell confrontational, can they spell each of these three titles correctly?


And another list of fifty that can't count.
faustus: (Default)
( Jan. 18th, 2011 12:34 am)
I wonder if the secret research centre - usually in a coastal village (or Collindale) - is a British sf thing? They're experimenting with time travel or teleportation in a private estate rather than a university lab or a military lab although big business is not necessarily excluded. Think "Piper at the Gates of Dawn", A Dream of Wessex, Chronicules, The Electric Crocodile, Charisma, bits of Jerry Cornelius. Various Doctor Who serials.It's not as ostentatious as the base in a hollowed out volcano. There must be US examples, but I'm blanking.


I sort of have an idea what it represents, but the coastal bit doesn't quite fit.
faustus: (Default)
( Jan. 31st, 2010 10:48 am)
Margaret Atwood was at it again yesterday, on BBC Radio 4's Toady, er, Today Programme, where she was speaking from Davos (which I blearily heard as Davros). (http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8488000/8488841.stm)

The interviewer is one of a new generation on the programme who often respond to an interviewee's sophist response to a tough question with the comment "You've got a point there", and who speculation suggests had nipple rings. He also presents a programme called Dragon's Den (although as Jeremy Hardy has pointed out, dragons don't have dens, they have lairs). He asked her something like, "Apparently you don't like your novels being described as science fiction." (Full marks for avoiding scifi, mind)

No, she said, that would mislead her readers, who might pick up her books thinking they contain dragons or aliens or far far away planets in a distant galaxy. She writes Speculative Fiction which is a subset of science fiction.


Bonus essay question: "Is speculative fiction a subset of science fiction, or vice versa?"

Personally I think she should write an honest to goodness sf novel and get us of her back. The Spacesquid's Tale. Alien Grace. Oryx and Kraken.
faustus: (Culture)
( Oct. 29th, 2009 10:57 am)
Twice today I have read the term steampunk in relation to HG Wells - The First Men in the Moon as steampunk classic (to be dramatised by BBC Four and Mark Gatiss) and as a forerunner of steampunk (which feels less wrongheaded).


I'd always thought of steampunk as being dependent on a vision of a nineteenth century that might have been - or a subsequent period which has evolved form that different nineteenth century. I'm not sure that steampunk as alternate present quite cuts the definition for me - it's missing a dimension of, what, nostalgia, disappointment, etsrangement?


Am I wrong?
I've long had trouble with the word "ethics" - if only from my work using Emmanuel Levinas on ethics as first philosophy preceding ontology, and being told by some that that isn't ethics. I have a work ethic (god, yes), and I try to behave ethically, although it bites me on the ass half the time.

So an ethic of writing only positive reviews?

There's a whatever dunks your biscuit moment - your gaff, your rules. If you choose to publish a magazine, webpage, anthology, newspaper, blog or whatever, which only includes raves and never put-downs, then it's your dollar. He who pays the piper ... tells him to shut up and go elsewhere.

There used to be free movie magazine, probably called Flicks, which had capsule reviews, and hey, all of them were positive, even for 8 mm. My betting is it was paid for by cinemas and film companies, if only via advertising. So it's a marketing tool. I'd turn to it for information, but I doubt it would make me see a film (unless it interested me) or avoid one.

But let's assume it's not for mercenary reasons, that you want to enthuse and to encourage, that you have an ethics of evangelising, or pushing, and that you want to sell - no, too mercantile, you want to push... Buy this book rather than that book.

Here you'd run into the ethics as I would more commonly use it. I am reading a book and I want to give it a positive review - it's not by someone I know, I'm not being paid, I'm not furthering my career or feathering my nest... So, it would help if the book was, yanno, actually good. That makes the job easy in terms of writing a positive review - although depending on one's ability to rave it might become a bad review in terms of quality. The most negative response I've ever had was to a review which was meant to be positive - but in summarising the content I left the author thinking I thought they omitted that material.

But if the book is, well, yanno, not very good? You could accentuate the positives, you could misunderstand the point of the curate's egg metaphor, you can be mealy mouthed about "promising"s and "inherently interesting"s, but there's a slippage from economics with the truth and spin to downright lying. If you think Attack of the Clowns is a steaming pile of doodoo then any candour demands you should say so.

There are reviewers who do tend to the positive - the late KVB never wrote a negative review that I read. I could never work out whether he had low standards, only reviewed books he liked or - and this is what I suspect - he had the ability to fillet a book for what interested him. It did worry me though.

So let's assume good faith, assume you're not a paid advert - indeed, you are paying for the space - and you only write honest positive reviews. Or, if you don't like it, you decide not to review it. Or review it elsewhere. You are an enthusiast. After all, there are more sf and fantasy books published every year than you can hope to read, money is tight, and you want to know what to pick up from Amazon. You need a guru, right?

Rog Peyton and Justin Ackroyd both behave like that, handselling a particular book, and not just to pay their shop rents. You don't like the book, you won't trust their next recommendation.

But that there's the point. The taste of the reviewer is something you take on trust - and if they only write positive reviews then you might assume that anything they don't review is crap. But that's to assume you share their tastes. Tastes differ. One book I reviewed early on in a British edition went on to be shortlisted for awards in its US version, and people I respect talk it up (I can only assume it was rewritten). Of course, I might have faulty taste. But from what I like and what I don't like - and I hope I am consistent even if tastes can develop - you can calibrate how that fits with your tastes.

Here's another point: I might not buy a book that you like, because you like it. Equally, I might buy it because you don't.

This isn't just the fascination of the car crash - the turkey shoot - or the perversion of being single and bloodyminded (one academic I know seems to make a point of loving films others hate). This is the sense of knowing that tastes can become opposites. Christopher Tookey in the Daily Hate Mail and Barry Norman when he reviewed on the BBC are cases in point. Save for sf and horror films - which they tend to hate on principle and are often right - I find that the more stars they give a film the more likely I am to like it, and Tookey's turkeys tend to be the release that I'm looking forward to most.

But Pollyannas don't convince me. We live in a fallen world.

Of course, there are various reasons to read a book or seeing beyond it being good or enjoying it - but I suspect that that is what normal people do. I mean, we all went to see the sixth Star Wars movie suspecting it was going to be as bad as the previous three. But it was significant and needed to be seen by anyone wanting to understand (that part of) the field. Let's assume we're talking about the case of having a ten pound book token, and you want to know what to spend it on that you will enjoy (but even that word begs so many questions...).

Equally, I'm not convinced we need a Manifesto for Motherfuckers - and I don't want to stop anyone to do what they want to do with their spare time. But at the risk of turning into the how many sf fans it takes to change a lightbulb joke, it strikes me that if some of us weren't so enthusiastic about sf and fantasy, we wouldn't criticise it so much.
faustus: (Default)
( Jan. 20th, 2009 09:10 pm)
My plan is to try and watch an sf film a day for as long as I can - with a mix of 1950s films for teaching, and 1970s for research. At half eleven I will need to break off and watch the last half hour of the film which foirms day two of the resolution. Write-ups, where appropriate, at Solar Flares, with spoiler free comment here. I will also be blogging them for work if I get the Blackboard blog working.

Already I am struck by how little criticism there is on sf film in my usual sources, leaving aside 2001, Alien, Blade Runner, Star Wars, The Matrix. There is a job to be done - oh dearie me, yes. Time to take it seriously. We have a couple of general histories (Sobchack, Brosnan, Hardy, Telotte) and a couple of encyclopedias (Clute and Nicholls, Westfahl), a few essay collections of varying quality (Kuhn, Kuhn II, Redmond, Rickman) but it feels like surprisingly little. Neither James and Mendlesohn (essential one chapter) nor Seed (a rather arbitrary section) out of the existing companions really do justice to film - the half dozenish chapters in Bould, Butler, Roberts and Vint are the tip of a smallish iceberg as the theoretical chapters invoke film as well.

Oh, and it turns out I have one of the (apparently) two pieces written on Soylent Green - and remarkably found it immediately when opening the collection in question at random.


faustus: (coffee)
( Jan. 16th, 2009 12:35 am)
So today I finally taught an sf class - the first - leaving aside the masterclass - module on this since I took over Alien Worlds half way through my first year here, in 2004. The lecture got written last minute, I forgot to animate the slides and I did leave time to print it out. But I managed some definitional stuff and a history from 1895 to 1950. I'm hoping the deep structure to the course is there having ripped the 1950s out.

Meanwhile I know a trip to London this week end is off the cards, but a cheap day out might be in order. Despite the cold. Although I ought to stick around and watch a pile of DVDs, of which there have been about a dozen purchased this week (mostly 1970s sf). I need to see The Man Who Fell to Earth and both versions of Solaris soonest.

And I need to tidy. And discover the safe place I put The Wire season 3 in.

For most of this week I have been trying to draw up a weekly time table to alocate research and work time. But I haven't found the time.


Meanwhile, pop culture will eat itself. Martin Freeman battles for the pissing on my childhood George Lucas Award by (after the Hitch Hikers movie) apparently signing up to be Reginald Perrin. He is not Leonard Rossiter. Darren Aronovsky is apparent remaking RoboCop and Jackie Chan is talking about The Karate Kid. Next, Resevoir Dogs, no doubt.

And I frankly have no idea why I ordered Lou Anders's Projections. For the Moorcock appreciation of Leigh Brackett? Something to do with the adaptations volume? Oh, goody, no sodding index. WTF? Who knows.
Vril

04 Jan 2009, 21:30 on BBC Radio 3
SYNOPSIS:
Matthew Sweet finds out about Vril, the infinitely powerful energy source of the species of superhumans which featured in Victorian author and politician Edward Bulwer Lytton's pioneering science fiction novel The Coming Race. Although it was completely fictional, many people were desperate to believe it really existed and had the power to transform their lives. With a visit to Knebworth House, Lytton's vast, grandiloquent Gothic mansion, where Matthew meets Lytton's great-great-great-grandson, and hears how his book was meant to be a warning about technology, soulless materialism and utopian dreams. At London's Royal Albert Hall, he discovers how a doctor, Herbert Tibbits, along with a handful of aristocrats, tried to promote the notion of electrical cures and the possibility of a 'coming race'. Along the way, Matthew and his contributors consider why so many English people have been so desperate to see the fantasy of regeneration transformed into fact.
faustus: (gorilla)
( Nov. 2nd, 2008 08:38 pm)
Ok - that's it.

We've read the proofs.

We've screamed.

We've proof read the proofs.

I've made a list of corrections and restorations.

We've wibbled about missing magazine dates.

I've asked my coeditors to research magazine dates.

I've researched magazine dates.

I've rewritten sections of the book for those dates.

I've spotted an error in a date we already had.

I've conflated all of this into one easy file and put line breaks for each chapter.

That's it.

That's the lot.

Oh, we haven't proofraed the index. We haven't seen the index. I claim no responsibility for the index.

I laugh in the face of a January 30 2009 publication date. A paperback is rumoured for March.

Mark Bould, Andrew M. Butler, Adam Roberts and Sherryl Vint, (eds) The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction [Import] (Hardcover)

HISTORY 1. The Copernican Revolution – Adam Roberts 2. Nineteenth-Century Sf – Arthur B. Evans 3. Fiction, 1895–1926 – John Rieder 4. Sf Tourism – Brooks Landon 5. Film, 1895–1950 – J.P. Telotte 6. Fiction, 1926–49 – Farah Mendlesohn 7. Golden Age Comics – Marek Wasielewski 8. Film and Television, the 1950s – Mark Jancovich and Derek Johnston 9. Fiction, 1950–63 – Rob Latham 10. Film and Television, 1960–80 – Peter Wright 11. Fiction, 1964–79 – Helen Merrick 12. Manga and Anime – Sharalyn Orbaugh 13. Silver Age Comics – Jim Casey 14. Film since 1980 – Sean Redmond 15. Television since 1980 – Lincoln Geraghty 16. Fiction, 1980–92 – Michael Levy 17. Comics since the Silver Age – Abraham Kawa 18. Fiction since 1992 – Paul Kincaid

THEORY 19. Critical Race Theory – Isiah Lavender III 20. Cultural History – Lisa Yaszek 21. Fan Studies – Robin Anne Reid 22. Feminisms – Jane Donawerth 23. Language and Linguistics – Mark Bould 24. Marxism – William J. Burling 25. Nuclear Criticism – Paul G. Williams 26. Postcolonialism – Michelle Reid 27. Posthumanism and Cyborg Theory – Veronica Hollinger 28. Postmodernism – Darren Jorgensen 29. Psychoanalysis – Andrew M. Butler 30. Queer Theory – Wendy Gay Pearson 31. Utopian Studies – Alcena M.D. Rogan 32. Virtuality – Thomas Foster

ISSUES AND CHALLENGES 33. Animal Studies – Joan Gordon 34. Design for Screen Sf – Piers Britton 35. Digital Games – Tanya Krzywinska and Esther McCallum–Stewart 36. Empire – Istvan Csicsery–Ronay Jr 37. Environmentalism – Patrick D. Murphy 38. Ethics and Alterity – Neil Easterbrook 39. Music – Ken McLeod 40. Pseudoscience – Roger Luckhurst 41. Science Studies – Sherryl Vint 42. Space – James Kneale 43. Time, Possible Worlds, and Counterfactuals – Matt Hills 44. Young Adult Sf – Joe Sutliff Sanders

SUBGENRES 45. Alternative History – Karen Hellekson 46. Apocalyptic Sf – Aris Mousoutzanis 47. Arthouse Sf Film – Stacey Abbott 48. Blockbuster Sf Film – Stacey Abbott 49. Dystopia – Graham J. Murphy 50. Eutopia – Graham J. Murphy 51. Feminist Sf – Gwyneth Jones 52. Future History – Andy Sawyer 53. Hard Sf – David N. Samuelson 54. Slipstream – Victoria de Zwaan 55. Space Opera – Andy Sawyer 56. Weird Fiction – China Miéville


I'm not sure how many years I've been working on this. Time to stop, methinks
I wrote some while back about a book I'm reviewing (note that's friends locked) - and I read a few more chapters tonight between coffee with [livejournal.com profile] brisingamen and the start of Brideshead Revisited (of which more later) and then after In Bruges waiting for the bus (ditto).

I've been told to write a review to a length which suits its importance.


Avoid


I'm guessing more will be needed? You never know, it might get better (and the last chapter, mostly on William Burroughs is more than adequate). But - given the subject - I looked up Dick and Bester in the index. Nada. Ditto for Delany - but then he's spelt Delaney (and note the use of LeGuin which is a step above Leguin I suppose).

Two sentences in particular had me head scratching.

"Aldiss sees [More, Swift, Defoe, and Verne] as uncles to Shelley."

"During the 1960s and 1970s, linguists such [sic] de Saussure (1959), Austin (1962), Halliday (1964), Labov (1966), Searle (1969), and Ohmann (1971) exploited their knowledge of the constituent parts of language as tools in exploring different ways to analyze literary texts." [see the header here for the second huh?]


And does K. Amis really fit in a list of non-academic critics? New Maps of Hell was delivered at sodding Princeton.

Unfortunately, I suspect this chapter is written by a grad student. I'm not sure how honest I should be.
SF used to be optimistic.
Now it is pessimistic.
It should be optimistic again.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2008/sep/24/science.fiction.fantasy.horror

Better insights in the comments
There's been a lot of wibbling about how to turn women onto sf - inspired by this set of suggestions: http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/06/explaining_science_fiction_to.php But as I always say in situations like this - what about the men? It's like the pendulum's swung too far!! So thank you to [livejournal.com profile] julieandrews for this: http://julieandrews.livejournal.com/32942.html
faustus: (culture)
( May. 9th, 2008 01:15 am)
The story so far: once upon a time sf was a despised genre loved by boys never read by girls, and it was looked down by on everybody with good taste. We would say, Canticle for Leibowitz isn't crap, and then they would say, no, but then it isn't sf. And we would say, what about Gulliver and Thomas More and Lucian of Samosa, lo even unto Plato's Republic and we saw that it was sf and that it was good. Because if we read it, it must be sf and it must be good.

Then Aldiss came unto us and spoke, and said, that's a bit silly really, given they didn't have the idea of science then, but how about Mary Shelley and Frankenstein. And we looked and it was good and it was sf, although we didn't like the Branagh movie as much as the James Whale one and some of us had read the book.

And time came and time went, and Gary Westfahl spoke unto us and told us that fans could leave their books to academic libraries and that he was ever so humble, and that Shelley didn't know what she was doing but Gernsback did even if it was pants.

And we looked at sf and we saw it started in 1926 and we saw it was good.


And so to Gresham College, or rather the Royal College of Surgeons, to a half day symposium on Sf as a literary genre - although no one defined genre or literary.

Neal Stephenson was the keynote - after an after dinner style intro with a few odd statements. I missed part of his speech, which seemed fair enough stuff, as I had a sudden attack of tb and had to steal [profile] brisingamen's water to choke to death with. The sum of it was the bifurcated career - some actors like Weaving and Weaver can act smart - and we're all geeks now. He closed with some kind of sense of relief that the post-structuralists never got hold of sf - so I must have blinked throughout the careers of Gibson as topic and Delany as writer.

Andy Sawyer talked about the colesence of sf as a genre under Gernsback, with the proviso that it was done earlier but not in English, and done earlier but not in a magazine, and it was done in a magazine earlier but only as a one-off. As always the First turns out to be the third or fourth.

John Clute finished the first session with a talk on horror, and I fear I lost the thread, in part because he was apparently trying to do battle with working out if he had the right draft, a conversation that seemed to be going on in the room and, as always, with the microphone. I think he needs a lapel mic as desk ones are either hit or rebound from the thumped lectern.

Dr Martin Willis took up the second half, and well, treated us to manifest bollocks. Sf studies has neglected the nineteenth century. I have this rather strong feel that early SFS is full of much of this stuff - Art Evans is editing much now - and indeed early SFS endlessly reviewed editions of nineteenth century sf. Darko Suvin's Metamorphoses of Science Fiction hardly get beyond 1900, and there's a book by him on Victorian sf, a good chunk of both Aldiss volumes, Seed's Anticipations, Alkon's Origins of Futuristic Fiction and SF before 1900, Stableford's Scientific Romance in Britain... In fact, as I pored through journals looking for sf crit back in 1990 I really craved some post-1926 stuff. Has Westfahl's championing of 1926 become so canonical?

(The Routledge Companion to SF will make a case for the long history argument, although I still feel as a genre 1926 works as Year Zero.)

Willis also had some odd views of what science is or how it is viewed, and I wondered how Latour and Kuhn would see it. I also wondered where in Frankenstein we are told the creature is animated with electricity' nowhere is my guess. I suspect he also misrepresented [personal profile] fjm's views.

My old colleague Roger Luckhurst finished the day with the twentieth century, and a distinction of modernity, modernism and modernising, a division I've heard him work through for nearly twenty years now. He was interesting on the James/Wells battles, and the snobbery of the modernist, and the attack on mass culture, but it was the end of a hot afternoon, and he needed to feed into a plenary.

I hope I noticed when I first saw the agenda but what was painfully clear was the papers were by white men. There is no woman anywhere in the world who can speak to sf as a literary genre. Of course, if you turn to the fourteen scholars in the directory on the SF-Hub, only two of them are female. Neither of them is [info]fjm. Someone did raise this as a question - and of course it's Gresham College's screw up not the evidentally embarrassed panelists. Clute made some half-hearted attempt to say the history of sf can be told through texts by women, but I don't really think anyone really has. [info]fjm gave us some figures to question the demographics of the audience. Some one asked what would get men to watch female superheroes; I feel the answer is too obvious to spell out.

I think the interesting drowned out the sound of my chin dropping, but next time I'd like to see Justina Robson as keynote, with [info]fjm, Lucie Armit, [info]brisingamen , Jenny Wolmark, Michelle Reid and Joan Gordon talking. They don't especially even need to talk about feminist sf. But it feel as if a pendulum had swung.

Thanks and apologies to [info]brisingamen for the bottle (you know you mustn't cough but it makes it worse), apologies to anyone trampled on my way out (and I panicked because there were no visible doors in the room) and thanks to James for meeting for coffee before and finding us a pub afterwards. That's seventeen years of this now, give or take a summer. Bloody hell, we're old farts.
faustus: (lights)
( Feb. 6th, 2008 12:37 pm)
Yesterday a student cautiously asked me if we were going to be looking at any unsuitable material in the lecture. Since it was partly on slash, it was perhaps a reasonable fear. Certificate 15, I'd say.

Afterwards he asked me if I'd read The Making of Lt. Ripley since I'd been teaching feminism with Joanne. I'm not entirely sure, but the subtext felt as if he'd assumed she'd introduced me to feminism. About bloody time we met... Let's see, been doing sessions on it since 1992 or 1993, with my favourite being those to female Open University students who didn't see the need for it. What with working and studying and being mothers.

(Mind you, what I've been reading this week about third wave feminism looks awfully like old fashioned sexism. Being objectified is empowering. Or something.)

Actually I've not read the book, but I've met the authors who delivered a paper on how all sfnal space ships are penises (rockets, zeppelins, cigars) or vaginas (saucers, spheres, teapots). Whilst pondering that perceptions of something being aerodynamic might have something to do with it, I asked whether the TARDIS was a vagina or a penis.

They haven't got back to me.

Let's see, it's always boasted that it's bigger on the inside...
faustus: (heaven)
( Jan. 31st, 2008 12:10 am)
The Google Alert I have keeping an eye out for me usually just spots things listing the Pocket Essentials Cyberpunk, but today it found a review of The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction.

On the whole it is liked, but obviously the only sentence that interests me is:
The writing style overall was pleasantly approachable, with only a few essays that bogged down in their academic language (Helen Merrick's disappointing essay on gender and Andrew M. Butler's valiant attempt at explaining postmodernism are the two failures that stand out in memory).


With one hand they give...

I guess I was doomed to failure.
faustus: (heaven)
( Jul. 2nd, 2007 09:38 am)
Among the things spoilt by the Nazis was science fiction.

Those pesky Nazis!

On the other hand, A.N. Wilson isn't entirely slappable because he concludes "Like all the best science fiction, the novel actually says something about ourselves." It could have been worse.
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