Features

Reproducing the Speculative: Reproductive Technology, Education, and Science Fiction

This article is part of the series:

Walter, a Synthetic, quietly makes his rounds in the brightly lit, pristine interior of the Covenant, a Weyland Corporation Spaceship. Fingers pressed to the translucent, impermeable glass, he checks the status of each crew member as they rest in their cryochambers, suspended in chemically-induced comas until they reach their destined planet in seven years and four months’ time. The …

Features

Things Which Have Once Been Conjoined: Science Fiction, Contagion, and Magic in the Age of Social Media

This article is part of the series:

There are many interesting formations that might be called networked phenomena. Homophily and the tendency towards triad closure. Scott Feld’s Rule (I’m more likely to make friends with someone who has more friends than me). Small world phenomena (those 6 degrees of separation). “The Strength of Weak Ties” (reportedly the most cited sociology paper in history). In all, a series …

Features

Speculation, Certainty and the Diagnostic Illusory: The Tricorder and the Deathless Man

This article is part of the series:

In the paragraphs which follow, we will be discussing the ways in which two pieces of speculative fiction, the science fiction film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and the novel The Tiger’s Wife use diagnostic and prognostic certainty as part of their creative narratives. In both cases, the confidence vested in the diagnosis and its outcome is contrasted

Features

Human Contamination: The Infectious Border Crossings of Jeff VanderMeer’s Area X

This article is part of the series:

“What if an infection was a message, a brightness a kind of symphony? As a defense? An odd form of communication? If so, the message had not been received, would probably never be received” (Acceptance 490).

“What if containment is a joke?” (Acceptance 576).

It all begins with a thorn: the delicate, glittering prickle of an unidentified plant

Features

What’s At Stake in Speculation?

This article is part of the series:

We’ve long been thinking about health, well-being, illness, sickness, and disease, in relation to risk. That things might not be maintained at their present levels, either individually, among our cared-for, or socially, is not something new, even if we’ve entered a period of intensification, with calls to ‘repeal and replace’ the Affordable Care Act, and the slow, often subtle chipping …

Books

Top of the Heap: Elizabeth Lewis

This article is part of the series:

FullSizeRender (3)

For this installment of the Top of the Heap series, I spoke with Elizabeth Lewis, who is a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as a disability writer, blogger, and advocate.

Elizabeth Lewis

For several months now, I’ve been thinking about the relationship between ethnography, narrative nonfiction, and fiction, and the possibilities for …