Women’s Space

Essays on Female Characters in the 21st Century Science Fiction Western


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About the Book

From the Star Wars expanded universe to Westworld, the science fiction western has captivated audiences for more than fifty years. These twelve new essays concentrate on the female characters in the contemporary science fiction western, addressing themes of power, agency, intersectionality and the body. Discussing popular works such as Fringe, Guardians of the Galaxy and Mass Effect, the essayists shed new light on the gender dynamics of these beloved franchises, emphasizing inclusion and diversity with their critical perspectives.

About the Author(s)

Melanie A. Marotta is a lecturer in the Department of English and Language Arts at Morgan State University and an editor for the Journal of Science Fiction. Her research focuses on science fiction, young adult literature, the American West, contemporary American literature (in particular African American), and ecocriticism. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Melanie A. Marotta

Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 206
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7660-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3672-6
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction 1

Where Are We Going and Whence Have We Come?
(Melanie A. Marotta) 1
Mara Jade, Frontier Woman: Agency in Star Wars and Influencing the Transmedia Franchise
(Monica Louzon) 25
The Reformation of the “Plastic Girl”: Prostitute/Killer and Messenger Characters in Cyberpunk to Post-Cyberpunk
(Melanie A. Marotta) 42
“Shut up and get over here”: Lovers and Cattle in Mass Effect
(Adam Crowley) 59
Olivia Dunham and the New Frontier in Fringe
(Teresa Forde) 72
A Fistful of Gender: Power and the Body in Text-Based Trans-Femme SF Western Video Games
(Joshua King) 87
Wanheda, Commander of Death, Healer: Hybrid Female Identities in the Post-Apocalyptic Wars of The 100
(Lindsey Mantoan) 101
The Most Dangerous Woman in the Universe: Redefining Gamora as a Female Native American in Guardians of the Galaxy
(Brett H. Butler) 118
Accidents of Occidentalism: Women, Science Fiction and Westerliness in Becky Chambers and Nnedi Okorafor
(Laurie Ringer) 130
If He Can Break It In, She Can Break It Out: The Public Impact of Domestic Machines in Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory
(Selena Middleton) 145
A Host of Questions: Women’s Artificial Agency in Westworld
(Maria Elena Torres-Quevedo) 161
Triggered: The Post-Traumatic Woman and Narratology in HBO’s Westworld
(Keith Clavin and Christopher J. La Casse) 177

About the Contributors 195
Index 197