Where No Man has Gone Before

Essays on Women and Science Fiction

Edited by Lucie Armitt

© 2012 – Routledge

244 pages

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pub: 2014-03-20
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About the Book

How do women writers use science fiction to challenge assumptions about the genre and its representations of women?

To what extent is the increasing number of women writing science fiction reformulating the expectations of readers and critics?

What has been the effect of this phenomenon upon the academic establishment and the publishing industry?

These are just some of the questions addressed by this collection of original essays by women writers, readers and critics of the genre. But the undoubted existence of a recent surge of women’s interest in science fiction is by no means the full story. From Mary Shelley onwards, women writers have played a central role in the shaping and reshaping of this genre, irrespective of its undeniably patriarchal image. Through a combination of essays on the work of writers such as Doris Lessing and Ursula Le Guin, with others on still-neglected writers such as Katherine Burdekin and C. L. Moore and a wealth of contemporaries including Suzette Elgin, Gwyneth Jones, Maureen Duffy and Josephine Saxton, this anthology takes a step towards redressing the balance.

Perhaps, above all, what this collection demonstrates is that science fiction remains as particularly well-suited to the exploration of woman as ‘alien’ or ‘other’ in our culture today, as it was with the publication of Frankenstein in 1818.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Writing through the Century: Individual Authors 1. The Loss of the Feminine Principle in Charlotte Haldane’s Man’s World and Katherine Burdekin’s Swastika Night Elizabeth Russell 2. ‘Shambleau…and Others’: The Role of the Female in the Fiction of C. L. Moore Sarah Gamble 3. Remaking the Old World: Ursula Le Guin and the American Tradition Susan Bassnett 4. Doris Lessing and the Politics of Violence Moira Monteith Part 2: Aliens and Others: A Contemporary Perspective 5. Mary and the Monster: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Maureen Duffy’s Gor Saga Jenny Newman 6. Pets and Monsters: Metamorphoses in Recent Science Fiction Lisa Tuttle 7. Between the Boys and their Toys: The Science Fiction Film Susan Thomas 8. Your Word is My Command: The Structure of Language and Power in Women’s Science Fiction Lucie Armitt 9. ‘I’m not in the Business: I am the Business’: Women at Work in Hollywood Science Fiction Erica Sheen Part 3: Readers and Writers: SF as Genre Fiction 10. Writing Science Fiction for the Teenage Reader Gwyneth Jones 11. Sex, Sub-atomic Particles and Sociology Sarah Lefanu 12. Maeve and Guinevere: Women’s Fantasy Writing in the Science Fiction Marketplace Nickianne Moody 13. ‘Goodbye to all That…’ Josephine Saxton

About the Editor

Lucie Armitt is Professor in English Literature at the University of Salford. Her research interests are contemporary women's fiction, the Gothic, the fantastic in literature and illustration and gender theory.

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: Women, Feminism and Literature

Reissuing seminal works originally published between 1979 and 1994, Routledge Library Editions: Women, Feminism and Literature offers a selection of scholarship from a time of great change in feminist studies and literary studies. Topics cover all aspects of women's literature, gender and feminism through literary criticism and the work of women literary theorists.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General
LIT003000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Feminist
LIT004260
LITERARY CRITICISM / Science Fiction & Fantasy
LIT004290
LITERARY CRITICISM / Women Authors
LIT012000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Reference