The Abstracts — Femspec 1.2, Vol 1, Issue 2, 2000
By Batya Weinbaum
Batya explains that FEMSPEC 1.2 contains critical articles that express how change in literature and culture correspond with the changes in the economic situations and its structures."Women Alone, Men Alone" by Brian Attebery is a paper that was read at last years (1999) International Association for Fantasy and the Arts, and dystopias.The new direction of existing tales in a national culture's fantasy life is in Barbara Mabee's article, "Reception of Fairy tale Motifs in Texts by Twentieth-Century German Women Writers."The reclaim of classical myth in a feminist direction is a creative poem by Barbara Louise Ungar.Her poem is called "Circe in Love."There are many more pieces in this issue, such as a play by Linda Eisenstein, "Revelation 24:12," conference and convention coverage, and a review by a young writer, Nicte-ha, about "Dinotopia," a utopian children's book for girls.
Women Alone, Men Alone By Brian Attebery Using the concepts of Eutopia and Dystopia to describe the extremesof utopias, Brian Attebery's article " Women Alone, Men Alone: Single-SexUtopias" examines the revivification of utopian fiction since the 1950s.By coining the term masculinist as a linguistic parallel to feminist, Atteberyprovides useful terms for discussion of utopia and gender in new ways.Critical and creative works by Thomas More, Russ, Gilman, Marge Piercy,Edmund Cooper, Katherine Burdekin, Louise McMaster Bujold, Robin Roberts,Suzy McKee Charnas, Robert A. Heinlein, Nicola Griffiths, David Brin, SheriS. Tepper, Eleanor Arnason, Edgar Pangborn, Marion Zimmer Bradley, TheodoreSturgeon, John Jay Wells (a.k.a. Juanita Coulson), Philip Wylie, SamuelDelany, Geoff Ryman, John Varley, and Lucy Sussex are discussed.
Reception of Fairy Tale Motifs in Texts by Twentieth-Century German Women Writers By Barbara Mabee This article discusses how cultural information and stories have been passed from one generation to the next. The fairy tales were restructured to focus more on the female's point of view. Some of these include stories with mothers and no fathers, depicting feminism and imagination in one. Critical and creative works by the Grimm brothers, Karl Marx, Jack Zipes, Anna Seghers, Christa Wolf, Ruth Bottigheimer, Maria Tartar, Sarah Kirsh, Madonna Kolbenschlag, Colette Dowling, Kay Stone, Claire Farrer, Geertje Suhr, Annette Laun, Sigrid Kellenter, Charles Perrault, Angela Carter, Helga Schubert, Margaret Atwood, Karin Struck, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Franz Kafka, and Bruno Bettelheim were discussed. The focus is on resurgence of fairy tales with the fall of the Soviet regime in East Germany.
Separatist Fantasies 1690-1997: An Annotated Bibliography By Lynn Williams A bibliography produced by many conference presentations. All works in this bibliography deal with science fiction and feminism.
Beast By Ruth Knafo Setton This is a work of fiction that starts out by showing marriage (sex) as being the way to let out one's true passion and true self. The use of subtle magical realism helps the author to tell of the enjoyable and the frightening aspects that co-exist while experiencing sex within the marriage. Men are beasts, or at least compared to them. A woman is not supposed to know more than the man wants her to. When she tries to find out more, she is rejected by all men. This includes her father.
Revelation 24:12 By Linda Eisenstein This play includes two characters who are a married couple. The wife sees an angel. The husband tries to find something about angels in the Bible, while the wife defines revelation for him. She claims that the whole point of a revelation is to introduce something new. Gender differences are noted when reacting to the same situation. The revelations came from the conversation that followed the sighting. The husband found out things about his wife that he had never bothered to ask before.
Circe in Love By Barbara Louise Ungar A poem that uses science fiction to describe the age-old idea of the saying, "you only want what you can't have." Ungar plays on themes of Greek myth and talks about turning men into animals. The object of her affection was the one that she could not change. She lost interest in turning men into animals when the hero left, so she turned the object of his affection into a dog and prayed for him to return to her.
Dinotopia By Nicte-H This article is a review of Midori Snyder's Hatchling, in which a girl has adventures and travels the world. "Nicte-Há is bi-cultural young writer who splits her life between Isla Mujeres, Mexico and New Hampshire.
CONFERENCE AND CONVENTION COVERAGE:
Made in Canada By Nancy Johnston This is a review of a conference in Canada where Canadian Science fiction was discussed. SF, Canadian literature was looked at in the context of all Canadian literature, and then with the concept of "borders" as creating regional identities. Many Canadian authors and works were discussed including Nalo Hopkinson, who performed an unpublished piece of hers.
No Place, the Good Place, a New Place By Sylvia Kelso Gloria Orenstein This is a review of a conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where the theme was Utopias/Dystopias. Hetrotopic and biocentric themes are also discussed.
NWSA FEMSPEC Salon By Batya Weinbaum This is a review of a meeting that took place during a conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. People from across the country gathered to discuss the progress of the FEMSPEC journal and how they became interested in working on it. Ideas for future editions were also discussed.
Writer's Respite at Wiscon '99 By Phoebe Wray This is a review of a morning workshop, called "Writers' Respite," that took place a conference in Madison, Wisconsin. New SF writers were brought face to face with experienced writers in order to help guide them to future success.
Surrealist Women By Gloria Orenstein Penelope Rosemont's Surrealist Women: An International Anthology, is discussed. This collection contains writings and some visual work by approximately one hundred women from all over the world. These surrealist women are also talked about as being political activists.
Two Reviews By Liisa Hake Judith Laura's novel, Goddess Spirituality for the 21st Century, and Treena Kortje's novel, Variations of Eve, are discussed. Laura is claimed to have spent a great deal of time and effort searching for original gender classifications in the bible. Kortje's novel describes many possible stories of Eve and the garden of Eden.
The Exploration of Gender in Deep Space and Sacred Time By Anne Collins Smith Jon Wagner and Jan Lundeen's novel, Deep Space and Sacred Time: Star Trek in the American Mythos, is discussed. The authors' ideas of how gender roles and relationships are used in the mythological context is critiqued. They agreed that it was good that even the alien life forms have gender problems and issues.