The Postnational Fantasy

Essays on Postcolonialism, Cosmopolitics and Science Fiction

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About the Book

In twelve critical and interdisciplinary essays, this text examines the relationship between the fantastic in novels, movies and video games and real-world debates about nationalism, globalization and cosmopolitanism. Topics covered include science fiction and postcolonialism, issues of ethnicity, nation and transnational discourse. Altogether, these essays chart a new discursive space, where postcolonial theory and science fiction and fantasy studies work cooperatively to expand our understanding of the fantastic, while simultaneously expanding the scope of postcolonial discussions.

About the Author(s)

Masood Ashraf Raja is an assistant professor of Postcolonial literature and theory at the University of North Texas, and editor of Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies.
Jason W. Ellis is an assistant professor of English at New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn, New York.
Swaralipi Nandi is an English literature Ph.D candidate at Kent State University, whose research focus is postcolonial literature and theory.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Masood Ashraf Raja, Jason W. Ellis and Swaralipi Nandi. Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 225
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6141-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8555-0
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vii

Foreword (Donald M. Hassler) 1

Introduction (Masood A. Raja and Swaralipi Nandi) 5

Part I: Postcolonial Issues in Science Fiction

1. Science Fiction as Experimental Ground for Issues of the Postcolonial Novel (Michele Braun) 17

2. Truth Is Stranger: The Postnational “Aliens” of Biofiction (Karen Cardozo and Banu Subramaniam) 30

3. Forms of Compromise: The Interaction of Humanity, Technology and Landscape in Ken MacLeod’s Night Sessions (Adam Frisch) 46

4. The Language of Postnationality: Cultural Identity via Science Fictional Trajectories (Chris Pak) 56

Part II: The Nation and Ethnicity in Science Fiction

5. The “Popular” Science: Bollywood’s Take on Science Fiction and the Discourse of Nations (Swaralipi Nandi) 73

6. Postcolonial Ethics and Identity in Mike Resnick’s Kirinyaga (Jenn Brandt) 88

 7. The Frontier Myth and Racial Politics (Ángel Mateos-Aparicio Martín-Albo) 100

 8. Dystopia and the Postcolonial Nation (Suparno Banerjee) 125

Part III: Towards a Postnational Discourse

 9. Body Speaks: Communication and the Limits of Nationalism in Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis Trilogy (Katherine R. Broad) 141

10. Engineering a Cosmopolitan Future: Race, Nation, and World of Warcraft (Jason W. Ellis) 156

11. When “Nation” Stops Making Sense: Mexico and Giorgio Agamben’s “State of Exception” in Children of Men (Stacy Schmitt Rusnak) 174

12. Fantastic Language/Political Reporting: The Postcolonial Science Fiction Illocutionary Force Is with Us (Marleen S. Barr) 188

About the Contributors 211

Index 213

Book Reviews & Awards

“Overall, The Postnational Fantasy is a fairly strong and relatively cohesive collection, and should particularly appeal to scholars working at the intersections of the fields of sf and postcolonial studies”—Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts.