Cross-readings along the axes of fiction:
tRANShACKfEMINISt [EN] (2014)
We have found the place for our rituals, we had dreamed it, written it in science fiction.
Cyberfeminism is not [EN+DE+NL+FR] (1997)
79. cyberfeminism is not science fiction.
A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction.
Social reality is lived social relations, our most important political construction, a world-changing fiction.
This experience is a fiction and fact of the most crucial, political kind.
The cyborg is a matter of fiction and lived experience that changes what counts as women's experience in the late twentieth century.
This is a struggle over life and death, but the boundary between science fiction and social reality is an optical illusion.
Contemporary science fiction is full of cyborgs - creatures simultaneously animal and machine, who populate worlds ambiguously natural and crafted.
I am making an argument for the cyborg as a fiction mapping our social and bodily reality and as an imaginative resource suggesting some very fruitful couplings.
I will return to the science fiction of cyborgs at the end of this chapter, but now I want to signal three crucial boundary breakdowns that make the following political-fictional (political-scientific) analysis possible.
Science fiction, postmodernism.
I look briefly at two overlapping groups of texts for their insight into the construction of a potentially helpful cyborg myth: constructions of women of colour and monstrous selves in feminist science fiction.
The trance state experienced by many computer users has become a staple of science -fiction film and cultural jokes.
Let me conclude this point by a very partial reading of the logic of the cyborg monsters of my second group of texts, feminist science fiction.
The cyborgs populating feminist science fiction make very problematic the statuses of man or woman, human, artefact, member of a race, individual endty, or body.
The feminist science fiction of Samuel R. Delany, especially Tales of Neveyon, mocks stories of origin by redoing the neolithic revolution, replaying the founding moves of Western civilization to subvert their plausibility.
James Tiptree, Jr, an author whose fiction was regarded as particularly manly undl her 'true' gender was revealed, tells tales of reproduction based on non-mammalian technologies like alternation of generations of male brood pouches and male nurturing.
In a fiction where no character is 'simply' human, human status is highly problematic.
Superluminal stands also for the defining contradictions of a cyborg world in another sense; it embodies textually the intersection of feminist theory and colonial discourse in the science fiction I have alluded to in this chapter.
This is a conjunction with a long history that many 'First World' feminists have tried to repress, including myself in my readings of Superluminal before being called to account by Zoe Sofoulis, whose different location in the world system's informatics of domin-ation made her acutely alert to the imperialist moment of all science fiction cultures, including women's science fiction
Cyborg monsters in feminist science fiction define quite different political possibilities and limits from those proposed by the mundane fiction of Man and Woman.
Also specific to tRANShACKfEMINISt [EN] (2014):
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