Vector #291

Vector291 - 22 June
Cover art by David Lunt

In this issue you’ll find several insightful articles: “The Dystopian Narrative: an Analysis of Texts that Portray Nightmarish Futures” by Giovanna Chinellato; “The Needle and the Wedge: Digital Games as a Medium for Science Fiction” by Monica Evans; and “Amazofuturism and Indigenous Futurism in Brazilian Science Fiction” by Gama and Garcia.

There’s also an exciting array of interviews, including “This Is How You Produce The Time War”: Powder Scofield interviews Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone; “Another Kind of Party”: Vector interviews Catherynne M. Valente; “The Science and the Politics”: Vector interviews Nancy Kress; “Actions and Reactions and Ripple Effects”: Liz Lutgendorff interviews Valerie Valdes; “Living among the Leviathans”: Robert S. Malan interviews Stewart Hotston; and “More Politics, More Magic, and More Queer”: Alison Baker interviews Juliet Kemp.

Paul Kincaid‘s regular column, “Kincaid in Short,” is devoted in Vector 291 to a short story by Brian Aldiss, “The Girl and the Robot with Flowers”. There are three highlighted book reviews from The BSFA Review by Andy Sawyer,  Maureen Kincaid Speller and Kate Onyett, as well as a special review-essay by Nick Hubble about Sideways in Time: Critical Essays on Alternate History Fiction, edited by Glyn Morgan and C. Palmer-Patel. Finally, this issue features a review-essay by Dev Agarwal “Us: A film about ‘Them’?”, a conference report by Jasmine Sharma on “Productive Futures: The Political Economy of Science Fiction,” and several artworks by the artist David Lunt.

Productive Futures: A report

Conference Report

Productive Futures: The Political Economy of Science Fiction

12- 14 September 2019

Bloomsbury, London

By Jasmine Sharma 

“The history of science fiction (SF) is the history of unreal economics: from asteroid mining to interstellar trade, from the sex work of replicants to the domestic labour of housewives of galactic suburbia, from the abolition of money and property to techno- capitalist tragedies of the near future.”

The opening statement of the Call for Papers caught the attention of researchers, scholars, artists and authors engaged with the central theme of the conference: science fiction. The connection between science fiction and economics broadened the dynamics of multidisciplinary interaction, encouraging presentations not only from literary studies, but also from architecture, arts and aesthetics, cultural studies, film studies, law, history, politics and international relations, media studies, philosophy, science and technology studies, social anthropology and many more. 

Organized by the London Science Fiction Research Community (LSFRC), and held within the heart of the city, that is the School of Arts Building, Birkbeck, the conference witnessed an exciting exchange of ideas and an orientation to global participation. UK delegates were joined by those from other European countries like Denmark, Germany, Finland and Netherlands, from Canada and the USA, and finally from institutes as distant as The University of Wollongong, Australia, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and The Indian Institute of Technology, India. It was suggested at the end of the conference, only half-jokingly, that LSFRC now stood for Large Science Fiction Research Community.

Continue reading “Productive Futures: A report”