The power of science fiction lies in its dangers. Science fiction imagines other worlds that can challenge, unsettle, and disturb the known world. It turns on dangerous ideas, affective ruptures, political critique, and unfamiliar textures. It has the power to threaten the established order of things and open gaps in the way we conceptualise the contemporary world. But are we losing sight of the dangers of science fiction as we try to come to understand it? Istvan Csicsery-Ronay warned "there is a danger in making Science Fiction into an academic specialty. [...] I'm somewhat suspicious of treating Science Fiction as if it were a circumscribed subject with a canon and set of reading protocols" (interview with Rain Taxi, 2009).
This special issue aims to address questions of:
* How can science fiction continue to be imagined dangerously in all its forms – from literature to film to gaming to art – in the face of it becoming a "discipline"?
* How does science fiction recover its danger, away from the neo-liberal safety of commercialisation and criticism that renders it as a digestible genre?
* How can academia approach science fiction in a way that both contributes to, and avoids eroding, the power and danger of science fiction?
* How can the tropes of science fiction be challenged to imagine new intersections of science and fiction?
* What do advances in science and technology mean for the dangerous dimension of science fiction?
* How is science fiction used dangerously; for example in military planning or by environmentalists imagining dangerous futures?
* How can the spaces and the textures of science fiction continue to be imagined as dangerous?
* How do practices of reading contribute to science fiction becoming "safe" (in other words, are we missing the point?), and how can practices of reading make sci-fi dangerous again?
* Where is science fiction the most unsettling, confronting, and urgent?
We invite contributions that address any of these questions from the disciplines of literature, film, gaming, art, and science and technology, and any other field with an investment in the possibilities of imagining science fiction dangerously.
The issue will be edited by the Emerging Research Group in Science Fiction at Deakin University, Australia (lead by Associate Professor Sean Redmond, Associate Professor Leon Marvell, Dr Elizabeth Braithwaite, Dr Chris Moore, and Trent Griffiths, postdoctoral student), aiming for publication in late 2014.
We welcome abstracts for of 300-350 words, along with a short biography, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com by Friday September 20th 2013. General enquiries about the special issue or the research group are also welcome.
Notification of acceptance of articles will be by Friday October 18th 2013. Completed articles should be original work which has neither been simultaneously submitted for publication elsewhere nor published previously, and will be due in April 2014.