Category Archives: gender

Science Fiction Themes Through the Decades

Taking this course was my very first introduction to science fiction. If I had to name one takeaway from what I’ve learned, it’s that science fiction is not about humans, but rather human nature. It’s about what issues us humans are facing in our current moment, and how those issues can be exploited through developments […] Continue reading

Posted in Aliens, Anderson, Artificial Intelligence, Asimov, Authors, books, civilization, ethics, evolution, Ex Machina, Fiction, gender, Heinlein, humanities, robots, Science Fiction, SF, society, technology, Van Vogt | Comments Off on Science Fiction Themes Through the Decades

Foreshadowing in “Ex Machina”

“Ex Machina” is a 2014 film in which programmer Caleb Smith, who works at a Google-like company, is not-so-randomly chosen for a private retreat at the CEO’s compound. The CEO—Nathan Bateman—lives alone, with the exception of a servant named Kyoko that doesn’t speak English and a humanoid robot named Ava. Caleb is brought to the […] Continue reading

Posted in AI, Artificial Intelligence, Ex Machina, Fiction, Films, gender, privacy, robot, robots, SF, Turing Test | Comments Off on Foreshadowing in “Ex Machina”

Alias Grace and the Present Past

On Friday, November 3, Netflix premiered Alias Grace, a six-part miniseries adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1996 novel of the same title. The pairing of the acclaimed novelist and a major streaming service was bound to generate much interest, not least owing to Netflix’s rival Hulu’s hugely successful small-screen iteration of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale earlier this […] Continue reading

Posted in Alias Grace, Fiction, gender, Grace Marks, historical fiction, Margaret Atwood, NeoVictorian, Netflix, SF, speculative fiction, The Handmaid's Tale | Comments Off on Alias Grace and the Present Past

“Oh brave new world that has such people in it!”

It would take quite a long time for me to simply list every reference to Shakespeare in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, let alone analyze the significance of them. Honestly I don’t think I would even be able to find all of them, even with a re-reading of the book. Over the course of the […] Continue reading

Posted in Brave New World, Fiction, gender, Huxley, Othello, SF, Shakespeare, The Tempest, VUTheatre | Comments Off on “Oh brave new world that has such people in it!”

Goddess, the Machine

ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός (apò mēkhanês theós). This simple Greek phrase has pervaded theatre, literature, and art across centuries. It represents a device used in ancient Athenian theatre, a device taken by the Romans, becoming the well-known deus ex machina (god from the machine). To understand the decision to entitle Ex Machina without the established deus, […] Continue reading

Posted in A. I., Ex Machina, gender, SF | Comments Off on Goddess, the Machine

To Be a Monster, Physically or Mentally

In Science Fiction and Realism alike, the novels often deal with monsters: monsters that haunt the night in science fiction and monsters that haunt the mind in realism. The monsters in science fiction tend to be physical, while the monsters in realism tend to be mental. To start off, let’s look at the definition of […] Continue reading

Posted in Authors, feminism, Fiction, flaubert, Frankenstein, gender, madame bovary, monsters, outsiders, Scientists, SF, Shelley | Comments Off on To Be a Monster, Physically or Mentally

Learning my (sci-fi) ABCs

Can you believe it? The semester and the year are nearly over, and while I have plenty to look forward to (the holidays, meeting my dog again, catching up on hundreds of hours of sleep), there is a lot to look forward to in the world of science fiction… Continue reading

Posted in Aliens, Asimov, Benford, Biology, Bradbury, Climate Change and Ecology, Cosmology, Fantasy, fermi, Fiction, Films, gender, gravity, Heinlein, interstellar, Le Guin, Multiverse, Quantum Mechanics, Relativity, SF, SF love, Star Wars, The Martian, Time travel | Comments Off on Learning my (sci-fi) ABCs

What Do We Sacrifice For “Perfection”?

It looked like any other hospital waiting room. Well, any other hospital waiting room in the year 2050. I’ve been told that you weren’t kept behind bars like a common criminal. I’ve been told the doors didn’t always have locks on the outside. Hell, I’ve even been told the rooms had chairs to sit in. […] Continue reading

Posted in biological engineering, biological modification, Biology, creative writing, criminal, cure, defect, disabilities, disability, ethical dilemma, ethics, evolution, Fiction, Future, gender, genetic engineering, genetic modification, genetic perfection, genetics, hospital, medical ethics, medicine, Morality, morals, procedure, Sci-Fi, science, Science Fiction, sex change, sexual orientation, social change, transexual, transgender, transsexual | Comments Off on What Do We Sacrifice For “Perfection”?

Room 0023

Room 0023 read the white numbers etched into the grey door in front of me. I looked down at the note that The Professor had written me, Today’s Assignment: Room 0023. Knock first, Helen likes to answer the door. I raised my hand and tapped on the door. Helen answered. She stood in front of […] Continue reading

Posted in gender, Helen O'Loy, Lester Del Ray, robot | Comments Off on Room 0023

Wound Up: Rape, Trauma, and Exploitation Tropes in “The Windup Girl”

Before I read Bacigalupi’s novel, my mental image of a “windup girl” evoked a creature like Olympia from E.T.A. Hoffman’s “Sandman”: delicate and hauntingly removed from the events of the world around her.  Bacigalupi’s Emiko, however, f… Continue reading

Posted in coercion, Cognitive Studies, consent, exploitation films, gender, Gender studies, I Spit on Your Grave, Madame Butterfly, Ms. 45, Orientalism, Paolo Bacigalupi, PTSD, rape, Science Fiction, The Windup Girl, trauma, violence | Comments Off on Wound Up: Rape, Trauma, and Exploitation Tropes in “The Windup Girl”