Tag Archives: Science Fiction

“This Album Couldn’t Wait”

Celebrate our beautiful, troubled world with this lovely conversation between pioneers Lizzo and Janelle Monáe.

I didn’t feel like I had all the time in the world to write Dirty Computer. When you think about the state of this country, when you think about who’s in office, when you think about having a Vice President who believes in conversion therapy, and you think about how 77 percent of LGBTQ teenagers surveyed in 2018 report feeling depressed or down over the past week — I didn’t think that this album could wait.

I read from the Trevor Project that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 10 to 24. And that LGB youth contemplate suicide at at least three times the rate of a heterosexual youth. When you think about our trans brothers and sisters, our trans sisters being murdered, and when you just look at the state of the world, and when I’m working on an album like Dirty Computer that is centered around uplifting marginalized groups and those who feel isolated and outcast from our society, this album couldn’t wait.

 

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Pigoons!!

Science! is building a way for us to install pig parts into ourselves. To be healthier.

Margaret Atwood already wrote this, obv.

On the other hand, maybe if human DNA is slowly and deliberately integrated with porcinity, we’d get a little bit f-ing smarter.

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A Brief Philip K Dick Interlude

I recently binged both the TV and book versions of The Man in the High Castle. Thatsa lotta Nazis.

I started to blog about these particular alternative histories–both the Asian-centric original and the Nazi-centric contemporary. But then I picked up a minor Philip Dick work, published 2 years after TMitHC, The Simulacra, and it was like TMitHC took acid, watched a bunch of Marx Brothers films, and foresaw a future in which Nazi evil takes the form of corporate oligarchy subduing the masses with HGTV and an ornate, comprehensive bureaucracy of citizenship.

As can happen when you pick up a Dick novel.

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Orphan is the New Black

What if our darkest feminist nightmares came true?

Girls who disagree with their fathers get locked in a cage with their mouths sewn shut?

Women are killed unless they can reproduce? And when they can, they are no more or less than incubators?

Women’s bodies are objects of science, subject to constant observation and kept ignorant of their status as experiments?

Sometimes they are artificially inseminated using animal husbandry tools?

Sometimes fathers commit incest meditated by reproductive technology so it’s NOT ABOUT SEX AND/OR POWER AT ALL. Nor is it creepy. Nor is it anti-Christian.

Women on TV are seemingly infinite variants of the same thin, beautiful, vulnerably strong white woman in leather?

Everyone lives in Canada?

 

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Revisiting Battlestar Galactica

From the misty distance of zero years, it’s time for us to revisit, once more, the Iraq war era.

Battlestar Galactica: your ending disappointed me. I mean, you were no Lost. But you were pretty much like Lost.

Still, your attempts to treat science fiction like the provocative genre it should be—your realization that stories about the future (or the past) are always about now, and that now is pretty interesting—and your respectable effort to spread the beefcake around (but, come on) have led me to rewatch you like you’re Star Trek, or something.

 

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Feminist SF Throwdown: Atwood V. Butler

I finished Maddaddam in a plot-fueled daze. Then I immediately began rereading Octavia Butler’s “Xenogenesis Trilogy,” which is conveniently/frustratingly published in one volume entitled “Lilith’s Brood” with cover art that looks like it’s soft core porn.

The thing is, the trilogy is bona fide SF. Aliens, apocalypse, ethics, science. The “nature of humanity.”

If that publisher thought for half a second about how bullshit that cover is, they’d realize that if they pretended Octavia Butler were a dude, and put some flipping aliens and stars on the cover, and a big blobby spaceship that itself is alive, to more accurately represent the book’s actual content, maybe they’d DOUBLE THEIR CUSTOMERS.

DOUBLE. THE SALES. DOUBLE THEM.

Instead, they made the book look like it’s about a skinny black woman having sex.

Which, technically, happens in the trilogy. But only through a gender-neutral being who mediates between her and another’s nervous system in a mandatory threesome, and no one touches anyone. Etc. Science fiction sex. You know how we do.

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