The Routledge Companion to Gender and Science Fiction  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Gender and Science Fiction

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after February 10, 2023
ISBN 9780367537012
February 10, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
440 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

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USD $250.00

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Book Description

The Routledge Companion to Gender and Science Fiction is the first large-scale reference work of its kind, critically assessing the relations of gender and genre in science fiction (SF) especially—but not exclusively—as explored in speculative art by women and LGBTQ+ artists across the world.

This global volume builds upon the traditions of interdisciplinary inquiry by connecting established topics in gender studies and science fiction studies with emergent ideas from researchers in different media. Taken together, they challenge conventional generic boundaries; provide new ways of approaching familiar texts; recover lost artists and introduce new ones; connect the revival of old, hate-based politics with the increasing visibility of imagined futures for all; and show how SF stories about new kinds of gender relations inspire new models of artistic, technoscientific, and political practice. Their chapters are grouped into five conversations—about the history of gender and genre, theoretical frameworks, subjectivities, medias and transmedialities, and transtemporalities—that are central to discussions of gender and SF in the current moment. A range of both emerging and established names in media, literature, and cultural studies engage with a huge diversity of topics including eco-criticism, animal studies, cyborg and posthumanist theory, masculinity, critical race studies, Indigenous futurisms, Black girlhood, and gaming.

This is an essential resource for students and scholars studying gender, sexuality, and/or science fiction.

Table of Contents

Part One, What: Gender and Genre

  1. "Introduction: A Brief History of Gender, Science Fiction, and the Science Fiction Anthology"
    Lisa Yaszek
  2. "Author Roundtable on Gender in Science Fiction"
    Ida Yoshinaga
  3. Part Two, How: Theoretical Approaches

  4. "Introduction to How: Theoretical Approaches"
    Lisa Yaszek
  5. "Feminism, Violence, and the Anthropocene in The Handmaid’s Tale"
    Jonathan Alexander and Sherryl Vint
  6. "Beyond Survival: Climate Change and Reproduction in The Handmaid’s Tale, Birthstones, and The Fifth Season"
    Anna Bedford
  7. "Collective Close Reading: Queer SF and the Methodology of the Many"
    Beyond Gender Research Collective
  8. "Queer SF"
    Ritch Calvin
  9. "Renovating the System: The Matrix Resurrections and Trans Resistance to Neoliberal Integration"
    Terra Gasque
  10. "Buffalo Gals and Talking Jellyfish: Feminisms and Animal Studies in Science Fiction"
    Joan Gordon
  11. "Asexual and Genderless Futures"
    Anna Kurowicka
  12. "Making the End Times Great Again: Post-Apocalypses, Preppers, and the Politics of Patriarchy on American Television"
    Carlen Lavigne
  13. "Decoding Masculinity in 21st Century Science Fiction by Men: Two Case Studies in Reconceptualizing Patriarchy"
    Sara Martín
  14. "I Came for the ‘Pew-Pew Space Battles’; I Stayed for the Autism": Martha Wells’ Murderbot"
    Robin Reid
  15. "The Womanist Speculative Archetype in Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s ‘Evidence’"
    R. Nicole Smith
  16. "Feminist Science Fiction Art"
    Smin Smith
  17. Part Three, Who: Subjectivities

  18. "Introduction"
    Wendy Gay Pearson
  19. "All Hail the Trans Cyborg" Autonomous as an Analogy of Trans Becoming"
    Jacob Barry
  20. "Queer Science Fiction, Queer Relationality, and Utopian Insurgency"
    Peyton Campbell
  21. "Like ‘A Bolt Out of the Blue’: Stories of Gender Transformation from the GDR"
    Carol Anne Costabile-Heming
  22. "New Pronouns and New Uses: Gender Variance and Language in Contemporary Science Fiction"
    Misha Grifka Wander
  23. "Not Just Boys and Toys: Gender and Intersectionality in SF for Children"
    Emily Midkiff
  24. "Speculations against Gender Discrimination: A Study of the Indian Speculative Fiction’s Growing Engagement with Gender Issues"
    Debaditya Mukhopadhyay
  25. "Feminist Queer Cyberpunk: Hacking Cyberpunk’s Hetero-Masculinism"
    Graham J. Murphy
  26. "Trans without Trans?: Gender Identity and the Relationship between Transness and Sex Change in the Works of John Varley"
    Wendy Gay Pearson
  27. "Unruly Bodies: Corporeality, Technocracy, and Same-Sex Desire in Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl"
    Agnieszka Podruczna
  28. "Good Wives and Mothers in the Universe: Explorations of Traditional Chinese Gender Roles in Chi Hui’s ‘Nest of Insects’"
    Frederike Schneider-Vielsäcker
  29. "Goddesses, Broods, and Hominids: Portrayals of Sex and Desire in the Speculative Fictions of Octavia E. Butler and Nalo Hopkinson"
    Sara Wenger
  30. Part Four, Where: Media and Transmedialities

  31. "Introduction"
    Keren Omry
  32. "Representation and Performance of Gender in Science Fiction Video Games and Game Mods"
    Paweł Frelik
  33. "Parodying Captain Kirk Through the ‘Drift’ in Cultural Memory"
    Danielle Girard
  34. "Subverting, Re-fashioning, or Re-inscribing the Power of the Male Gaze: Feminism, Fashion, and Cyberpunk Style"
  35. Rebecca J. Holden
  36. "Queer Affect: Torchwood, Television and (Queer) Unhappines"
    Susan Knabe
  37. "Afro-feminist Intimacies: Women and AI in African Short Fiction"
    Nedine Moonsamy
  38. "Gender Representation and Identity in The Red Strings Club"
    Jaime Oliveros García and Alejandro López Lizana
  39. "The Queer Non Sequitur"
    Alex Prong
  40. "Gender and Sexuality in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and its Adaptations"
    John Rieder
  41. "Meet My Alien Sex Fiend: Iterations of Otherness in Recent Mexican Films"
    Itala Schmelz
  42. "A young, Black, queer woman in Metropolis: Janelle Monáe and sci-fi queerness"
    Erik Steinskog
  43. "Trans/Pacific Entanglements: Japanese Tentacle Porn in American Internet Culture"
    Dagmar Van Engen
  44. "Gendering Through Time in Japanese Anime: The Time Travelling Girl"
    Candice Wilson and Tobias Wilson-Bates
  45. Part Five, When: Transtemporalities

  46. "Introduction"
    Sonja Fritzsche
  47. "Naomi Alderman’s The Power and New Feminist Science Fiction Superheroes"
    Marlene J. Barr
  48. "Gender Euphoria in Space Utopia"
    Laura Collier and Kathryn Prince
  49. "Science? Fiction? SF by Women in the Magazines"
    Jane Donawerth
  50. "Early Black Feminist SF and Future Fiction"
    M. Gulia Fabi
  51. "Gendering Domes Between Pulp Era and New Wave"
    Szilvia Gellai
  52. "The Role of Historical Amnesia and Restorative Nostalgia in The Handmaidʼs Tale Protests: The Limits of the Contemporary White Feminist Dystopian Imagination"
    Kate Meakin
  53. "Tracing Second-Wave Feminism through Women in the Dune Series"
    Kara Kennedy
  54. "Complicating the Super Man: Evolving Masculinities in US-American Science Fiction"
    Michael Pitts
  55. "Between Stove and Emancipation—Conservative Women and Anti-Utopian Imaginations in Early German Science Fiction"
    Katharina Scheerer
  56. "‘Mistress of a World’: Margaret Cavendish, Gender, & Science Fiction in Early Modern England"
    E. Mariah Spencer
  57. "A Riddle about a Stick Figure: Narrative Prosthesis, Futurity, and Misrecognition in Adam Robert's Bête"
    Jessica Stokes
  58. "The Rise of Female SF Writers in China in the Twenty-First Century"
    Mengtian Sun

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Lisa Yaszek is Regents’ Professor of Science Fiction Studies at Georgia Tech, US, and past president of the Science Fiction Research Association; her recent books include Literary Afrofuturism in the Twenty-First Century (2020) and The Future Is Female! series (2018–present).

Sonja Fritzsche is Professor of German Studies and Associate Dean at Michigan State University, US, and focuses on Eastern European science fiction and the amplification of global science fiction studies.

Keren Omry is Senior Lecturer of contemporary US fiction at the University of Haifa, Israel, where she researches and teaches on Alternate Histories, Science Fiction, and African-American literature.

Wendy Gay Pearson is Chair of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Western Ontario in Canada whose research focuses on queer and trans science fiction; with Veronica Holinger and Joan Gordon, she is co-editor of Queer Universes: Sexualities in Science Fiction (2008).


"Science fiction has been questioning gender norms since before there was science fiction (think Margaret Cavendish, Mary Shelley, Charlotte Perkins Gilman). This lively and comprehensive new volume, edited by leading scholars in the field, surveys science fiction’s powerful techniques for exploring difference and exposing injustice. The essays demonstrate how far both the genre itself and scholarly responses to it have come since the early days of feminist critique. Contributors look at thought-experiments about queer or nonbinary societies and gender systems derived from non-European cultures as well as at the explosion of science fictional thinking in animation, comics, and other media. As new discoveries about the varieties of human experience and new technologies turn absolutes into mere possibilities, books like this serve as tour guides to a new reality."

--Brian Attebery, author of Decoding Gender in Science Fiction and Fantasy: How It Works 

"The Routledge Companion to Gender and Science is a comprehensive, ambitious, and thought-provoking volume with invaluable research and resources for students and scholars. Bringing together voices of science fiction writers, established scholars, and new voices, this book establishes important links between gender studies and science fiction studies. As this anthology shows, science fiction offers a unique site to explore gender issues including identity, bodies, social issues, race, animal studies, among many other topics. Readers of the Routledge Companion to Gender and Science will receive a graduate-level course in the relevance of science fiction for gender, and gender for science fiction. The book's sophisticated analysis is presented in accessible and engaging prose."

--Robin Roberts, author of A New Species: Gender and Science in Science Fiction and Anne McCaffrey: A Life with Dragons 

"Fritzsche, Omry, Pearson, and Yaszek bring together an array of established and emerging critical voices in science fiction and gender studies to create this comprehensive companion. A wide array of scholarship ranging from theory to history to media studies addresses canonical authors like Mary Shelley and Margaret Atwood alongside discussions of Black, Indian, Mexican, Chinese and Japanese authors and creators. The editors’ inclusion of BIPOC and global voices and topics is a deliberate choice to move beyond a white, Western view of feminism and gender studies in science fiction scholarship. Essential reading for anyone interested in representations of gender and identity in science fiction literature, theory, and media."

--Joy Sanchez-Taylor, author of Diverse Futures: Science Fiction and Authors of Color 

"This unique collection emerges from what Donna Haraway has referred to as "situated knowledge," that is, knowledge firmly embedded and contextualized in the particularities of histories, cultures, and social formations. Its chapters demonstrate the inextricably intersectional nature of gender and sexuality as these messy and complex categories are embodied in all their differences in speculative fictions from around the world and through equally wide-ranging scholarly considerations. None of the sections here are identified by geography: no privileged works or sites or voices dominate this wide-ranging conversation. Queerness and diversity are the norms, and with skill and panache the editors have put together a collection that comes very near to the realization of their utopian ambitions."

--Veronica Hollinger, Science Fiction Studies