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Science fiction has always been a male-dominated literary genre, right? All about steel braziers on submissive women serving—and servicing—Euro-American alpha males on a colonial power trip in space? Where all the authors and editors were men and women were allowed in only to tidy the office and deliver sandwiches and backrubs?
Guess again. According to my guests Lisa Yaszek and Patrick B. Sharp and their new book Sisters of Tomorrow: The First Women Of Science Fiction, when it comes to women, the accepted history of SF is all wrong.
Lisa Yaszek is Professor and Associate Chair in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech, and past president of the Science Fiction Research Association. Her areas of expertise include science fiction, cultural history, critical race and gender studies, and science and technology studies. She’s written for numerous journals and is the author of books including Galactic Suburbia: Recovering Women’s Science Fiction.
Patrick Sharp is Professor and Chair of the Liberal Studies Faculty at the California State University at Los Angeles. He researches the cultural dimensions of and beliefs about science and technology, and how they cross-pollinate with beliefs about race and gender. He’s the author of Savage Perils: Racial Frontiers and Nuclear Apocalypse in American Culture, and he co-edited the anthology Darwin in Atlantic Cultures: Evolutionary Visions of Race, Gender, and Sexuality. He’s also the faculty chief of
In today’s episode of MF GALAXY, Yaszek and Sharpe discuss:
- The key women authors and editors who blazed a comet trail across the sky of early science fiction and opened up the genre to what it could one day be
- The early male editors who were allies in egalitarian SF creation
- The sexist backlash that ended the Feminist Golden Age of SF, led by an editor whose name is still spoken with honour today, and
- How women writers changed the content of SF, even while male editors were eliminating them from the canon that they were building
My guests spoke with me by Skype from their offices in Atlanta and Los Angeles on April 24, 2017.
Please note that the US publisher Resurrection House has just released my acclaimed novel The Alchemists of Kush about how boys lost at war fight betrayal and oppression to transform themselves and the world. If you'd like to buy the book, please get it from your favourite independent local bookstore or Resurrection House. Barring that, there's Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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