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Volume 3. Issue 1. January 2019.

ISSN: 2514-8915

The fourth Fantastika conference - Performing Fantastika - focused on performative bodies. This included performance in theatrical plays and films, as well as an examination of the body itself. How is the body performed and perceived in Fantastika texts? How do Fantastika texts and our interaction with Fantastika texts modulate our understanding of performative bodies?

Download the full issue or scroll below for access to individual editorials, articles, and reviews.

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By Tajinder Singh Hayer

Volume 3. Issue 1. January 2019: List



Beth Cortese

This article argues that the origins of Science Fiction theatre can be traced back to the seventeenth century and explores the way in which the performance of Science Fiction in early women’s drama cathartically addresses ‘Otherness’ to expose and shape attitudes towards gender and ethnicity. The seventeenth century witnessed the establishment of the Royal Society, along with the development of the telescope. It is no surprise that amidst such a climate of scientific discovery, colonisation, and travel, seventeenth-century texts express a fascination with the existence of other worlds and of life in outer-space. Francis Godwin’s The Man in the Moone (c.1638) and Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World (1666) have recently been hailed as early prose works of Science Fiction but less attention has been paid to the role of Science Fiction on the seventeenth-century stage. Drawing on Christos Callow and Susan Gray’s theorisation of Science Fiction theatre as “psychological inner space, and the social and political spaces between individuals, groups and societies” (65-66), I analyse the way in which Margaret Cavendish’s private and immersive performance of Utopia in The Lady Contemplation (1667) and Aphra Behn’s public and communal Science Fiction comedy The Emperor of the Moon (1687) cathartically reimagine and question existing relations within their society. As Household Drama performed in the Duchess’s stately home, Cavendish’s The Lady Contemplation presents a private, immersive, and intimate performance of Utopia which relies on the imagination, while Behn’s The Emperor of the Moon makes use of lavish costume, special effects, and painted scenery to create her lunar inhabitants in this public spectacle. I consider how each performance of Science Fiction raises questions about gender, the public and the private sphere, the relationship between the body and the mind, self and other, along with the allure of spectacle and fantastical contemplation as a cathartic exercise.


Danielle Girard

This article seeks to reread Star Trek’s Vulcan race from a contemporary standpoint as an example of a post-identitarian text that more closely manifests as asexual rather than homoerotic. It explores the evident ties between the Vulcan mating cycle and asexuality as well as several key instances of Spock’s sexual performativity acting opposite to his established character (with a particular focus on “Amok Time,” “Journey to Babel,” and “This Side of Paradise”). The article argues against the binaries of a post-identitarian world and instead explores how Science Fiction texts can be used to locate alternative sexualities and romantic identities in order to remap and reshape assumptions embedded by the heteronormative binary.


John Sharples

This article investigates the intersection between modernity and Science Fiction in postwar US culture. Focusing on the visual symbols of the flying saucer, the mushroom cloud of the atomic bomb, and the Soviet satellite Sputnik, it approaches these new shapes in the sky through the sound impressions they made. In this manner, the article is part of my broader research regarding the sensory cultural history of the time, considering the way specific sense impressions – sight, sound, smell, taste, touch – were used to varying degrees to construct identity and meaning at a time of scientific innovation and new possibilities. Expanding the scope of analysis beyond visual culture and printed culture revives and reanimates historical events, lifting them from the two-dimensional page or screen into the realm of lived, everyday experience. Embracing the novelty of newly domesticated audiovisual technologies including television and radio broadcasts, as well as sounds heard on the street, such as warning sirens or the bleeps of passing satellites, allows one to listen in on the past, adding a new dimension to understandings of the era. The intent here is not to negate the importance that visual sensory impressions played in the construction of identity but rather to suggest that excessive focus on these elements can obscure a number of other messages, of alternative micro-histories, and suggest that the cultural identities of the flying saucer, mushroom cloud, and Sputnik were in no way ‘natural,’ but arose from a shaping of visual sense impressions which was both considered and careless.

Volume 3. Issue 1. January 2019: Books
Volume 3. Issue 1. January 2019: List
Volume 3. Issue 1. January 2019: List

Fiction Reviews

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A Review of Abbott (2018) by Jack Fennell

A Review of Lost Mars: The Golden Age of the Red Planet (2018) by Katie Stone

A Review of Moonrise: The Golden Age of Lunar Adventure (2018) by Tom Dillon

A Review of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) by Rhianon Jones

A Review of Starless (2018) Review by Kaja Franck

A Review of Sea of Rust (2017) by Michael Hollows

A Review of Economic Science Fictions (2018) by Fiona Moore

A Review of Detroit: Become Human (2018) by Beata Gubacsi

A Review of Instructions for Correct Assembly (2016, 2018) by Ian Farnell

A Review of Annihilation (2018) by Stuart Spear

A Review of The Stone Sky (2017) by Marita Arvaniti

A Review of Altered Carbon (2018) by Thomas Tyrrell

A Review of A Quiet Place (2018) by Robyn Ollett

A Review of Revenant Gun (2018) by Katie Cox

A Review of Westworld Season Two (2018) by Emily Cox

A Review of Avengers: Infinity War (2018) by Danielle Girard

A Review of Oathbringer (2017) by C. Palmer-Patel

A Review of The Good Place Season Two (2017-2018) by Katarina O’Dette

A Review of Shadow of the Colossus (2018) by Sam Valentine

A Review of Frankenstein (1818) Bicentennial Anniversary by Andreea Ros

Review of Ready Player One (2018) by Alison Tedman

A Review of “Amor Vincit Omnia” (2018) by Daniel Huw Bowen

A Review of The Vestigial Heart: A Novel of the Robot Age (2018) by Maxine Gee

Volume 3. Issue 1. January 2019: List
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