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Black and Brown Planets: The Politics of Race in Science Fiction

af Isiah Lavender III (Redaktør)

Andre forfattere: Marleen S. Barr (Bidragyder), Gerry Canavan (Bidragyder), Grace L Dillon (Bidragyder), M. Elizabeth Ginway (Bidragyder), Matthew Goodwin (Bidragyder)7 mere, Edward James (Bidragyder), De Witt Douglas Kilgore (Bidragyder), Malisa Kurtz (Bidragyder), Robin Anne Reid (Bidragyder), Lysa M Rivera (Bidragyder), Patrick B Sharp (Bidragyder), Lisa Yaszek (Bidragyder)

Serier: Color Planets (3)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1811,211,107 (4)1
"Black and Brown Planets embarks on a timely exploration of the American obsession with color in its look at the sometimes contrary intersections of politics and race in science fiction. The contributors explore science fiction worlds of possibility , lifting blacks, Latin Americans, and indigenous peoples out from the background of this historically white genre. This collections considers the role of race and ethnicity in our visions of the future. The first section emphasizes the political elements of black identity portrayed in science fiction from black America to the vast reaches of interstellar space. In the next section, analysis of indigenous science fiction addresses the effects of colonization, helps discard the emotional and psychological baggage carried from its impact, and recovers ancestral traditions in order to adapt in a pot-Native-apocalyptic world. Likewise, this section explores the affinity between science fiction and subjectivity in Latin American cultures from the role of science and industrialization to the effects of being in and moving between two cultures. By infusing more color into this otherwise monochrome genre, Black and Brown Planets imagines alternate racial galaxies in which people of color determine human destiny"--… (mere)
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Free review copy. Collection of pieces mostly about American sf. I liked Gerry Canavan’s piece on Samuel R. Delaney, which includes an extended discussion of Commander Sisko, especially the episode “Far Beyond the Stars” in which he’s the dream of a black sf writer in the early twentieth century. Given Star Trek’s limits to diversity, the writer “looks something like Star Trek’s bad conscience or its hidden truth.” Canavan reads Delaney’s works as evoking the “psychic deformation caused by racial difference …. To be privileged when others are not—and to embrace that privilege without compunction or regret—is, in some basic sense, to be fundamentally inhuman.” No one is unmarred by racism, even if those at the top are socially constructed as free and unlimited. The best part, I thought, was in a footnote: Delaney spoke of Heinlein’s Starship Troopers as a foundational text for him because the hero was nonwhite, but that was a non-issue only mentioned glancingly. While that helped Delaney see himself in sf, “Delaney’s memory of the book’s inclusivity seems to have shifted significantly in the retelling; some of the most radically inclusive gestures he describes are not actually in Starship Troopers but appear to exist only in his memory of it.” That’s an awesome example of taking a mixed/problematic text and getting a positive message from it—I have similar memories of the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman, where I took in the empowerment and none of the dismissiveness.

Isaiah Lavender III writes about Octavia Butler’s story “The Evening and the Morning and the Night,” which is ostensibly about an illness that makes people harm themselves (and sometimes others) but he argues also serves as a metaphor for race, for example by depicting the effects that segregation has on both the healthy and the ill (driven to self-destruction). I didn’t know that Butler resisted readings of “Bloodchild” as being about masters and slaves; as Lavender points out, it is obviously “at least” about masters and slaves, as well as other things—love, coming of age, or pregnant men.

Patrick B. Sharp’s piece on Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony argues that it’s actually science fiction, set in the past. By setting her story on an Indian reservation with a nuclear waste dump, he contends, Silko challenges the conventional idea that the US has yet to experience a nuclear catastrophe. Matthew Goodwin reads several narratives about Mexico/the Mexican-American border, including the film Sleep Dealer, arguing that they challenge the coloniality of the “frontier” in sf. Traditional dystopian fiction involves a privileged protagonist who loses that privilege (e.g., Orwell’s 1984 or Bradbury’s Farhrenheit 451), but the protagonists in these narratives are already “maquiladora workers, minorities, and migrant laborers.” There’s also a reprint of an older piece by Edward James, as well as his subsequent reflections on that piece (where he points out, for example, that he talked about general assumptions of sf writers when he should have added in “white”). The older piece examines sf’s common implication that racial problems have been solved, somehow, by the disappearance of minority groups. Prejudice is for rural folk, not the city of the future; aliens sometimes operate as metaphors of race without the awkward intrusion of actual nonwhites, or if nonwhites do appear they instruct us that prejudice is over. Because of this desire to promote tolerance within an assimilationist framework, James suggests, much sf is only ambiguously “about” race even as it deals with the alien. In some sense, like the economist who assumes a can opener, white American sf has posed an easier problem for itself and then tried to solve that. ( )
  rivkat | Oct 13, 2014 |
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» Tilføj andre forfattere (2 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Lavender III, IsiahRedaktørprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Barr, Marleen S.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Canavan, GerryBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Dillon, Grace LBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Ginway, M. ElizabethBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Goodwin, MatthewBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
James, EdwardBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Kilgore, De Witt DouglasBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Kurtz, MalisaBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Reid, Robin AnneBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Rivera, Lysa MBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Sharp, Patrick BBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Yaszek, LisaBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet

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"Black and Brown Planets embarks on a timely exploration of the American obsession with color in its look at the sometimes contrary intersections of politics and race in science fiction. The contributors explore science fiction worlds of possibility , lifting blacks, Latin Americans, and indigenous peoples out from the background of this historically white genre. This collections considers the role of race and ethnicity in our visions of the future. The first section emphasizes the political elements of black identity portrayed in science fiction from black America to the vast reaches of interstellar space. In the next section, analysis of indigenous science fiction addresses the effects of colonization, helps discard the emotional and psychological baggage carried from its impact, and recovers ancestral traditions in order to adapt in a pot-Native-apocalyptic world. Likewise, this section explores the affinity between science fiction and subjectivity in Latin American cultures from the role of science and industrialization to the effects of being in and moving between two cultures. By infusing more color into this otherwise monochrome genre, Black and Brown Planets imagines alternate racial galaxies in which people of color determine human destiny"--

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