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Old FuturesSpeculative Fiction and Queer Possibility$
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Alexis Lothian

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479811748

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479811748.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Science Fiction Worlding and Speculative Sex

Science Fiction Worlding and Speculative Sex

(p.129) 4 Science Fiction Worlding and Speculative Sex
Old Futures

Alexis Lothian

NYU Press

Chapter 4 extends part 2’s analysis of queered and gendered black futurities to the realm of racialized queer masculinity, focusing on the work of Samuel R. Delany. His writing provides a bridge between the discourse of “world-making” developed in utopian theories of queer performance and the idea of “world-building” common in science fiction studies. Delany’s fiction shows how the narrative tactics of science fiction, a genre whose most popular literary and media versions have tended to proffer timelines reliant on unmitigated heterosexuality, can turn against assumptions that the future must be straight, or at least arrived at through heterosexual reproductive logics. In Dhalgren (1974) and Stars in My Pocket like Grains of Sand (1984), speculative iterations of 1970s and 1980s public sex cultures use genre tropes to reimagine sexual and racial temporalities in response both to the histories of enslavement and to the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.

Keywords:   American fiction, black queer studies, gay, narrative, science fiction, Samuel R. Delany, slavery, temporality, world-building, world-making

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