The Sex Is Out of This World

Essays on the Carnal Side of Science Fiction

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About the Book

“Science fiction” can be translated into “real unreality.” More than a genre like fantasy, which creates entirely new realms of possibility, science fiction constructs its possibilities from what is real, from what is, indeed, possible, or conceivably so. This collection, then, looks to understand and explore the “unreal reality,” to note ways in which our culture’s continually changing and evolving mores of sex and sexuality are reflected in, dissected by, and deconstructed through the genre of science fiction.
This book is a collection of new essays, with the general objective of filling a gap in the literature about sex and science fiction (although some work has gone before, none of it is recent). The essays herein explore the myriad ways in which authors—regardless of format (print, film, television, etc.)—envision very different beings expressing this most fundamental of human behaviors.

About the Author(s)

Sherry Ginn is a retired educator currently living in North Carolina. She has authored books examining female characters on science fiction television series as well as the multiple television worlds of Joss Whedon. Edited collections have examined sex in science fiction, time travel, the apocalypse, and the award-winning series Farscape, Doctor Who, and Fringe.
Award-winning novelist Michael G. Cornelius is the author or editor of numerous books. He serves as chair of the department of English and Communications at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Sherry Ginn and Michael G. Cornelius. Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 259
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6685-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0086-4
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements      viii
Introduction: Sexing Science Fiction
MICHAEL G. CORNELIUS      1

PART ONE : ALIEN SEX
The Future, in Bed with the Past: Miscegenation in Science Fiction Film and Television
CYNTHIA J. MILLER and A. BOWDOIN VAN RIPER      17
Alienating Sex: The Discourse of Sexuality in the Works of Octavia Butler
ANCA ROSU      34
“We pair off ! One man, one woman”: The Heterosexual Imperative in Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis Trilogy
ECHO E. SAVAGE      50
Love at First Contact: Sex, Race and Colonial Fantasy in Star Trek: First Contact
ALLISON WHITNEY      62
“They teach you that in Whore Academy?” A Quantitative Examination of Sex and Sex Workers in Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Dollhouse
HEATHER M. PORTER      86
The Evil Wet Nurse: Preoedipal Development and Primo Levi’s Science Fiction
ROBERT C. PIRRO      102

PART TWO : TECHNO SEX
Patriarchy, Paternity and Papas: Reproductive Technologies and Parenthood in Science Fiction
ERIN GRAYSON SAPP      117
“I have worked hard at her head and brain”: Dr. Moreau and the New Woman
THOMAS G. COLE II      134
“Are we not men?” Degeneration, Future-Sex and The Time Machine
LARRY T. SHILLOCK      152
Space Apes Want Our Women! Primate Lust in American Science Fiction
MATTHEW H. HERSCH      170
Technology as a Nexus for Homoerotic Desire in Boys’ Series Books
MICHAEL G. CORNELIUS      187
(Inter)Mediated Sexuality in the Science Fiction of J. G. Ballard
CLARE PARODY      204
Human, Alien, Techno—What Next? Evolutionary Psychology, Science Fiction and Sex
SHERRY GINN      221
Conclusion: Sexing Science Fiction, Take Two
SHERRY GINN      238

About the Contributors      243
Index      247

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Essays are incisive and well-written…recommended for most college libraries”—Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts
  • “This collection of over a dozen essays interrogates how sex and sexuality are reflected in science fiction as changing categories and persistent motifs”—Reference & Research Book News