My Write-Up of SFRA 2011 Conference in September Locus Magazine

The terrific periodical Locus: The Magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Field recently published my write-up of the 2011 Science Fiction Research Association Conference in Poland in the September 2011 issue. It is on newsstands now. It is also available for sale in various digital formats here.

Don’t forget: the next SFRA Conference will be held in Detroit, Michigan on June 28-July 1, 2012. Find out more about the call for papers, the venue, and registration on the official website here. See you there!

Early Registration Reminder for 2012 SFRA Conference in Detroit, Lower Rate Until Sept 15, 2011

I registered for the 2012 SFRA Conference in Detroit last night. You have only two more days to register and pay at the discounted rate of $140 for the conference and $25 for the awards banquet. Details and the link to the official conference website are below.

Welcome to the website for the 43rd annual conference of the Science Fiction Research Association. Following is a list of key dates: Early Registration: July 2011 -August 31st, 2011 $140.00:  Extended until September 15th, 2011!Regular Registration: September 1st, 2011-June 7th, 2012 $160.00Late Registration: June 7th-June 27th, 2012 $180.00Student Registration: July 2011-June 27th, 2012 140.00 Awards Banquet $25.00: This price will go up to $30.00 after September 15thAbstracts for the conference will be accepted through April 23rd, 2012 If there are any questions, please contact Steve Berman at sdberman1121 [at] gmail.com or Deborah Randolph at DARANDOL [at] oaklandcc.edu

via SFRA 2012 Conference in Detroit MI | June 28-July 1, 2012.

SFRA Panel at Dragon*Con Was a Success!

On Sunday, the Science Fiction Research Association was represented by Lisa Yaszek, Doug Davis, Jason Embry, and myself at the 11:30am Dragon*Con panel in Atlanta, Georgia titled: “What Does Science Fiction Mean? A Conversation with the SFRA.” SFRA Publicity Director R. Nicole Smith coordinated with the Dragon*Con Sci-Fi & Fantasy Literature Track planners to make the panel a reality.

The panel was attended by approximately 20 Dragon*Con members, and the ensuing conversation between the panel and the audience was electric. We received comments from long-time science fiction fans who had taken classes in the 1970s, and we received questions from educators and creative writing teachers about the use of science fiction in the academy. As part of the conversation, we also shared the history of the SFRA and our own unique histories as SF scholars with the audience.

The session was a great success, because we had a delightful conversation that ran over our allotted time. It was a fulfilling experience to connect with Dragon*Con SF and fantasy fans, because they had compelling questions and unique experiences to share with us. The panel was also a success on another level, because it increased the visibility of our organization and the work of its members in an audience that should be a continuing part of our discourse in the SFRA.

Many thanks to the audience members who attended the panel!

The SFRA Invades 2011 Dragon*Con in Atlanta on Labor Day Weekend

Actually, the Science Fiction Research Association isn’t really “invading” Dragon*Con with ray guns drawn, but we will host a panel titled, “What does Science Fiction Mean: A Conversation with the SFRA” on Sunday morning in the Hyatt’s Fairlie room at 11:30am. Thanks to the SFRA’s Publicity Director R. Nicole Smith, several SFRA EC members (Lisa Yaszek and myself) and SFRA Review editors (Doug Davis and Jason Embry) will hold a panel to let convention goers know a little bit about what we do in the SFRA. We will also invite attendees to join the SFRA and participate in the 43rd annual conference in Detroit next year. If you are attending Dragon*Con, stop by the panel and join the conversation. If you aren’t going to Dragon*Con but are in the Atlanta area and what to talk shop, drop me a line [dynamicsubspace now-what-goes-here gmailcom]–I will be in town from Friday until Sunday.

SFRA 2011 Paper Crystalizes into “A Cognitive Approach to Science Fiction”

My paper for SFRA 2011, which I have retitled “A Cognitive Approach to Science Fiction,” is nearly at a first draft stage. Its argument is central to my dissertation, which I have been working on for a short time now. However, I am finding new ways to craft my argument while cutting down how much I have to say for the purposes of a conference presentation. I believe that this exercise is becoming a useful one for my thinking and sharing my work abroad. I am hopeful that my presentation will generate questions and comments in Poland.

Three Weeks Until SFRA 2011 in Poland

In three weeks, I am looking forward to seeing Pawel Frelik and my other SFRA friends in Poland for the annual Science Fiction Research Association conference. I am in the process of writing my paper now, which is an adaptation of a chapter of my dissertation on cognitive science, cognitive cultural studies, and science fiction. Good luck to the other attendees on your writing for the conference. See you soon!

Future of the SFRA Review Survey Results

Yesterday, I posted the results of the SFRA’s survey regarding the future of the SFRA Review. I believe that the results point toward a need for compromise between the necessity of digital publication and the desire for some members to have a print version. These are the results of the survey:

These are the results of the recent poll that the Executive Committee conducted to determine membership opinion on the future publication and distribution model for the organization’s official publication, the SFRA Review.

1) How would you prefer to receive the SFRA Review?

Online : 55 votes : 60%

Mail : 36 votes : 40%

Total : 91 votes

2) If the review were published online, what format would you prefer?

PDF : 45 votes : 51%

ebook : 27 votes : 30%

Blog : 14 votes : 16%

Wiki : 3 votes : 3%

Total : 89 votes

3) If the SFRA Review were published online, how often would you like to see it released?

Quarterly : 58 votes : 66%

Continuous : 30 votes : 34%

Total : 88 votes

The results from this poll as well as the many opinions expressed on the SFRA email list will be weighted at the annual business meeting held at the conference in Poland on July 7-10, 2011. You may download the graphed results as a PDF attached to this news post.

The results and a pdf with graphs are available here.

Did You Know That Many Back Issues of SFRA Review Are Available Online?

Did you know that you can find many issues of the SFRA Review, the official publication of the Science Fiction Research Association, online for free?

There are two online repositories for back issues of the SFRA Review. First, all issues from 2001 (beginning with issue #250) to the present are available for download in PDF format from the SFRA’s official website here. This is also the primary place to find new issues as soon as they are published.

Second, you can find many of the earliest issues of the SFRA Review at the University of South Florida Library’s Special and Digital Collections website here. They provide scanning and hosting services for (currently) 118 Newsletter/SFRA Review issues from 1974-2008.

The SFRA Review is a leading source for original scholarship, conversation, and reviews in the field of science fiction and fantasy. In more recent years, it has expanded into other media in a big way including teaching guides, research, and reviews of genre film and video games.

The SFRA is the oldest professional organization for the study of science fiction and fantasy in all media. The SFRA promotes scholarship, teaching, and professional discourse through awards, publication, and its annual conference.

The Postnational Fantasy Essays on Postcolonialism, Cosmopolitics and Science Fiction, Now Published and Available from McFarland!

UPDATE: The Postnational Fantasy now has its own page on dynamicsubspace.net here.

I am very pleased to announce the publication of The Postnational Fantasy: Essays on Postcolonialism, Cosmopolitics and Science Fiction, my first co-edited collection of essays with with my good friends and colleagues Masood Ashraf Raja and Swaralipi Nandi! Click here to purchase it directly from the publisher McFarland & Co or click here to purchase it from Amazon (they should receive copies soon).

Below, I have included the book jacket copy, editor biographies, and the table of contents.

The Postnational Fantasy: Essays on Postcolonialism, Cosmopolitics and Science Fiction

Edited by Masood Ashraf Raja, Jason W. Ellis and Swaralipi Nandi

Foreword by Donald M. Hassler

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-6141-7

EBook ISBN: 978-0-7864-8555-0

notes, bibliographies, index

225pp. softcover 2011

Buy Now!

Price: $40.00

Available for immediate shipment

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.

Table of Contents

Foreword by DONALD M. HASSLER

Introduction by MASOOD A. RAJA and SWARALIPI NANDI

Part I: Postcolonial Issues in Science Fiction

1. Science Fiction as Experimental Ground for Issues of the Postcolonial Novel by MICHELE BRAUN

2. Truth Is Stranger: The Postnational “Aliens” of Biofiction by KAREN CARDOZO and BANU SUBRAMANIAM

3. Forms of Compromise: The Interaction of Humanity, Technology and Landscape in Ken MacLeod’s Night Sessions by ADAM FRISCH

4. The Language of Postnationality: Cultural Identity via Science Fictional Trajectories by CHRIS PAK

Part II: The Nation and Ethnicity in Science Fiction

5. The “Popular” Science: Bollywood’s Take on Science Fiction and the Discourse of Nations by SWARALIPI NANDI

6. Postcolonial Ethics and Identity in Mike Resnick’s Kirinyaga by JENN BRANDT

7. The Frontier Myth and Racial Politics by ÁNGEL MATEOS-APARICIO MARTÍN-ALBO

8. Dystopia and the Postcolonial Nation by SUPARNO BANERJEE

Part III: Towards a Postnational Discourse

9. Body Speaks: Communication and the Limits of Nationalism in Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis Trilogy by KATHERINE R. BROAD

10. Engineering a Cosmopolitan Future: Race, Nation, and World of Warcraft by JASON W. ELLIS

11. When “Nation” Stops Making Sense: Mexican and Giorgio Agamben’s “State of Exception” in Children of Men by STACY SCHMITT RUSNAK

12. Fantastic Language/Political Reporting: The Postcolonial SF Illocutionary Force Is with Us by MARLEEN S. BARR

About the Contributors

Index

About the Editors

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 English literature Ph.D candidate at Kent State University and holder of an M.A. in science fiction studies from the University of Liverpool. Swaralipi Nandi is an English literature Ph.D candidate at Kent State University, whose research focus is postcolonial literature and theory.

Also read the announcement on Masood Raja’s blog here.