Edging Into the Future
Science Fiction and Contemporary Cultural Transformation
Veronica Hollinger and Joan Gordon, Editors
"Edging into the Future effectively maps where science fiction has come in the last fifteen years and opens a number of new avenues of exploration for scholars in the field. It also confirms the vitality of science fiction as a cultural form that, even as it is transformed by its transactions with other genres and technologies, continues to provide insights about contemporary life as no other art form can."—Contemporary Literature
"The savvy critical essays in this provocative collection investigate the interface between science fiction and postmodern culture. . . . Highly recommended for readers at all levels."—Choice
Edging into the Future explores contemporary science fiction literature and media as imaginative expressions of an already science-fictional present and as literal descriptions of postmodern culture. Thirteen noted scholars and writers, including Brian Attebery, Gwyneth Jones, and Gary K. Wolfe, provide an overview of the state of contemporary science fiction and emphasize the diversity of ways in which science fiction as a narrative mode and as a social discourse comments upon contemporary cultural, political, and technological transformations.
As the essays in Edging into the Future demonstrate, science fiction is both symptomatic of cultural disruption and change and an expression of our desire to give shape and meaning to that change. These essays examine a variety of science fiction forms, from literature to rock 'n' roll, and from film to anime and hypermedia, exploring such topics as generic transformation, the relationship of the body to technology, gender and sexuality, the construction of both individual and communal subjects, and the contemporary sense of an ending. They point to the intriguing directions in which science fiction continues to develop, while demonstrating that the challenge for the genre today is less to extrapolate a distant future than to keep up with a permanently mutable present in which genres, subjects, bodies, communities, and futures are all in flux.
The essays in this collection, representing a multiplicity of perspectives, are bound together by their common focus on science fiction literature and media as forms of cultural expression uniquely suited to address the pressures and promises of contemporary culture.
Veronica Hollinger is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at Trent University in Ontario. Joan Gordon is Associate Professor of Literature at Nassau Community College. Together they coedited the volume Blood Read: The Vampire as Metaphor in Contemporary Culture, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.