The Abstracts — Femspec 5.1, Vol 5, Issue 1, 2004

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By Batya Weinbaum

Announcing a Few Changes

Editorial Introduction to Gender and Technology in Science Fiction Film by Patricia Melzer and Shelley Price


Menacing Technologies: Counterfeit Women and the Mutability of Nature in Science Fiction Cinema by Albert Anthony

Taking the Dream Girls Apart: Molly, Eve VIII, Barb Wire by Mark Bould

I Married a Misogynist from Outer Space: The Challenge of Being a Bride in 1950s Science Fiction Film by Cathy Hawkins

There Is No Spoon: Concepts of Subjectivity in The Matrix by Patricia Melzer

This Is Not Film: Ef/facing the Screen in Kathryn Bigelow's Strange Days by Jeffrey Middents

I Want To Be a Real Boy: A.I. Robots, Cyborgs, and Mutants as Passing Figures in Science Fiction Film by K. Surkan


Cyborg Bodies: How to Read the Body by Beth Blinebury


Animus Mundi, Alien, Wormhole, and Golem by Shelley Price


The Cyber-Genius Hysterical Mother and the Techno-Virgin/Man's Man: Thoughts on Cronenberg's eXistnZ by Michelle Renee Matisons


Gender and Technology in Science Fiction Film by Patricia Melzer and Shelley Price


Celebrations, Overlays, Matrices: Making Art in the Textures of Collage by Geraldine Wojno Kiefer

Gwyneth Jones: An Introduction by Mark Bould
Author recounts how Gwyneth Jones is under-read by Americans, and informs us of her personal biography and full bibliography as he introduces the following three critical articles he has edited.

Incredible Stories about Ordinary People: the Teenage Fiction of Gwyneth Jones/Ann Halam by Mark Bould
Author discusses the twenty one novels for teenagers or young adults that Jones has written under the name Ann Halam, in addition to the nine science fiction novels, a number of short stories and fairy tales, and a not insubstantial body of reviews and criticism under her own name.

Going Up Hill: An Interview with Gwyneth Jones by Andrew Butler
This interview concentrates on Jones' pseudonymous Ann Halam novels and the first two books from her current sequence of sf novels under her own name, Bold As Love and Castles Made of Sand.

The Lost Child: Notes on White Queen by Istan Csicsery-Ronay Jr.
Introduced by an attempted synopsis by editor Mark Bould, this impressionistic piece includes dreams of the author, an analysis of how dream grief lies just below the surface of fantasy, and an exploration of the types of reveries of characters in Jones' White Queen.


Brown Girl in the Ring by Tara Betts
Nalo Hopkinson's winner of the 1999 Warner Aspect First Novel Award is described as combining a post-apocalyptic Toronto with the cultural myths of African and Caribbean people, with a focus on a single teenage mother.

Myth and Ritual in Women's Detective Fiction by Barbara J. Cook
Review describes a book by Christine A. Jackson that draws upon the works of Joseph Campbell, Northrope Frye, Carl G. Jung, and other scholars of folklore, myth and anthropology to illustrate the parallels between myth and detective fiction.

Feminist Cabalism 101 by Janice C. Crosby
Review of a collection Flying Cups and Saucers: Gender Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Debbie Notkin, which includes winners of the Tiptree Award, begun in 1991 to recognize works that interrogate gender roles. The winning authors are almost evenly split between women and men, which the reviewer says indicates "that no monolithic feminist perspective underpins the selection process."

Biotechnological and Medical Themes in Science Fiction by Gerardo T. Cummings
A review of a work edited by Domna Pastourmatzi, presents work by both male and female critics that center around science fiction topics such as cloning, invisibility, aliens, comic heroes, medicine, and future biotechnology.

Scheherazade's Sisters: Trickster Heroines and Their Stories in World Literature by Elizabeth L. P. Briggs
Reviews a work by Marilyn Jurich which is a "wonderful sampling of folk and fairy tales from all over the world featuring strong women in trickster roles." The notion of "trickstar" emerges, to conceptualize stories such as "The Man That Had a Baby" from the Ozarks and "Three Strong Women" from Japan. Jurich, not a strict folktale researcher, coins the term trickstar as the female version to trickster. The trickstar, as Jurich recounts, often operates from different motives and employs different tricks to different ends than do the traditional male tricksters.

Images of Fear: How Horror Stories Helped Shape Culture (1818-1918) by G. Warlock Vance
A review of Martin Tropp's two hundred plus examination of "how a series of images of 'horror' in fiction interacted with an emerging modern culture over a century," which recounts how horror helped shape attitudes towards technology, crime and gender. He connects disparate ideas such as the Women's Liberation Movement of the Victorian Era and the brutality of war, particularly World War I.

Critical Theory and Science Fiction by Janice M. Bogstad
Reviews Carl Freedman's theoretical criticism which argues that science fiction is the paradigm focus for the study of critical theory. Freedman's analysis of numerous classical texts focuses on the best of the best, but, the critic questions, "what good is a definition of a genre that excludes most of its examples?"

Cauldron of Changes: Feminist Spirituality in Fantastic Fiction by Theresa A. L. Crater
A review of Janice C. Crosby's trade paper book which "offers a refreshing return to a branch of feminism that has been woefully ignored in academic feminist analysis of the past decade or two."

A Different Lens: Gender Studies and the Inklings by Paul Eros
Reviews Women Among the Inklings: Gender, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, and Charles Williams, by Candice Frederick and Sam McBride, arguing that although a wealth of critical material has been written about the Inklings, little has been written about gender in either their lives or writings.

Communities of the Heart by Diona Shaw
Reviews Warren G. Rochelle's representations of ideal communities in LeGuin's writing, looking at her writing "from the inside, providing a literary X ray that reveals the philosophical underpinnings of her books. Rochelle examines "how LeGuin has modified traditional storytelling modes to tell contemporary stories."

Chicana Ways by Diona Shaw
Review of Karin Rosa Ikas' 2002 text that "intends to guide an international array of readers, students and scholars" to the works of ten prominent Chicana writers whom she interviewed between 1996 and 1997. Explores themes such as the link between land and identity, and Chicana female archetypes such as La Llorona.

Spiritual Syncretism, Innovation in the Speculative Realm and Radio Theater by Bruce Gehiere
Explores Ellen Kushner's radio program which is not as well known as her innovations in fantasy in the feminist sf/fantasy community. The show is discussed as "timely in its appeal to the non-dogmatic and cosmopolitans spiritual sensibilities of her listeners." Discusses Kushner's career which began as fantasy editor of Tor Books.

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