Literary Review of Sexuality and Gender in Science Fiction Literature

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Literary Review

My argument is that SF literature offers a utopian hope for the future where individual differences are no longer criticized. To conduct this literature review I used multiple information sources to examine issues of gender and sexuality within science fiction literature. None of these sources claim to have produced a conclusive work on the interpretation of gender and sexuality in SF. Some of what I have read seems to be a general overview while some is more focused, but everything clearly references other theorists, studies and texts to back up the arguments made.

The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction- Edward James

This book combines essays by academics and writers of SF, which examine the genre from diverse
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In other words feminist SF is an effective and powerful means for feminist visionary developments that are crucial for the initial attempts to embark on the cultural and social changes that are the goals for the feminist political enterprise. Hollinger discusses Le Guin’s view that feminist SF doesn’t prophecy the future but it refers to the world as it is. This is interesting because it emphasises this idea that the SF can explore such issues of gender and sexuality in reality.

Hollinger references works such as ‘The Female Man,’ ‘Bloodchild’, The Left Hand of Darkness’ and ‘Women on the Edge of Time’ together with people like Donna Harraway, Teresa de Lauretis and Judith Butler. In addition to the well-known feminist utopian works of the 70’s Hollinger also mentions Helen O’Loy, which is an early masculine focused novel. We see the importance of feminist SF when we read about works such as this, because the contrast shows that some SF writers obviously didn’t identify the historical possibility and cultural traditionalism of our notions regarding gender and sexual identity and the roles of men and women. Hollinger brings together plenty of evidence to back up her points about feminist theory and SF making for a comprehensive essay.

Wendy Pearson writes her chapter on SF and queer theory discussing how some people recognise a fundamental