Science Fiction, Imperialism and the Third World

Essays on Postcolonial Literature and Film


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About the Book

Though science fiction is often thought of as a Western phenomenon, the genre has long had a foothold in countries as diverse as India and Mexico. These fourteen critical essays examine both the role of science fiction in the third world and the role of the third world in science fiction. Topics covered include science fiction in Bengal, the genre’s portrayal of Native Americans, Mexican cyberpunk fiction, and the undercurrents of colonialism and Empire in traditional science fiction. The intersections of science fiction theory and postcolonial theory are explored, as well as science fiction’s contesting of imperialism and how the third world uses the genre to recreate itself.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Ericka Hoagland is an assistant professor of English at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.
Reema Sarwal is a research scholar in New Delhi, India. She has taught as a lecturer at Miranda House, University of Delhi and is now pursuing her Ph.D in contemporary Australian fantasy fiction at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Ericka Hoagland and Reema Sarwal
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 231
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4789-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5782-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v


Andy Sawyer      1

Introduction: Imperialism, the Third World, and Postcolonial Science Fiction

Ericka Hoagland and Reema Sarwal      5

Part One: Re-inventing/Alternate History

1. Postcolonial Science Fiction: The Desert Planet

Gerald Gaylard      21

2. History Deconstructed: Alternative Worlds in Steven Barnes’s Lion’s Blood and Zulu Heart

Juan F. Elices      37

3. The Calcutta Chromosome: A Novel of Silence, Slippage and Subversion

Suparno Banerjee      50

4. Organization and the Continuum: History in Vandana Singh’s “Delhi”

Grant Hamilton      65

Part Two: Forms of Protest

5. The Colonial Feminine in Pat Murphy’s “His Vegetable Wife”

Diana Pharaoh Francis      77

6. Body Markets: The Technologies of Global Capitalism and Manjula Padmanabhan’s Harvest

Shital Pravinchandra      87

7. “Smudged, Distorted and Hidden”: Apocalypse as Protest in Indigenous Speculative Fiction

Roslyn Weaver      99

Part Three: Fresh Representations

8. Sadhanbabu’s Friends: Science Fiction in Bengal from 1882 to 1974

Debjani Sengupta      115

9. Critiquing Economic and Environmental Colonization: Globalization and Science Fiction in The Moons of Palmares

Judith Leggatt      127

10. Loonies and Others in Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Herbert G. Klein      141

11. Science Fiction, Hindu Nationalism and Modernity: Bollywood’s Koi… Mil Gaya

Dominic Alessio and Jessica Langer      156

Part Four: Utopia/Dystopia

12. The Shapes of Dystopia: Boundaries, Hybridity and the Politics of Power

Jessica Langer      171

13. Narrative and Dystopian Forms of Life in Mexican Cyberpunk Novel La Primera Calle de la Soledad

Juan Ignacio Muñoz Zapata      188

14. Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower : The Third World as Topos for a U.S. Utopia

Gavin Miller      202

About the Contributors      213

Index      217

Book Reviews & Awards

“a worthy addition”—Science Fiction Studies; “highly recommended…outstanding”—Midwest Book Review.