The Lesbian Fantastic

A Critical Study of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal and Gothic Writings


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About the Book

Science fiction has long been a haven for lesbian writers, allowing them to use the genre to discuss their marginalized status. This critical work examines how lesbian authors have used the structures and conventions of science fiction to embody characters, relationships and other themes that relate to their experience as the quintessential Other in the broader culture. Topics include lesbian gothic, fantasy, science fiction, mixed genre texts and historical background for the works discussed. A vital addition to the scholarship on homosexuality and culture.

About the Author(s)

Phyllis M. Betz is a professor emerita of English from La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She lives in Burlington, New Jersey.

Bibliographic Details

Phyllis M. Betz
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 211
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5885-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8614-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      viii

Preface      1

Introduction: Reading Lesbians Reading Fantasy      5

1. Once Upon a Time: Historical Backgrounds and Contexts      27

2. Here Be Monsters: Lesbian Gothic      70

3. In a Kingdom Far Away: Lesbian Fantasy      102

4. Beyond the Known Galaxy: Lesbian Science Fiction      132

5. Blurring the Lines: Mixed Genre      158

Conclusion: Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On      172

Appendix: Why Would a Lesbian Writer Use Gay Characters Rather Than Lesbian Ones?      179

Notes      189

Works Cited      195

Index      201

Book Reviews & Awards

“Betz is astute in underscoring how lesbian-authored fantasy can provide a framework for being different, for accepting differences in others, and for recognizing that one’s desires are not evil or abhorrent. Valuable…highly recommended”—Choice; “Betz is to be praised for her willingness to introduce readers to less known, highly contemporary objects of study”—Science Fiction Studies; “Betz demonstrates a thorough knowledge of the field of the fantastic”—Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts.