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19 Oct 2012
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£53.00
|Hardback In Stock
  
9780230348042
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

This is a history of the decades-long love affair between a powerful alternative sexuality called BDSM (bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism) and an innovative narrative genre called science fiction and fantasy (SF&F). The book shows how SF&F provides easy access to the language, symbols, rituals and ethics of BDSM. Science fiction and fantasy offer strikingly positive representations of BDSM, while the marginal status of SF&F ensures that these representations will not normalize BDSM out of existence. These sympathetic yet subversive representations encourage audiences to view BDSM as an ethical sexuality, while simultaneously permitting BDSM to retain its transgressive identity. This book explores representations of BDSM in the Wonder Woman comics of the 1940s, in the novels and short stories that Samuel Delany and James Tiptree wrote between the 1960s and 1980s, and in the television shows of the 1990s and 2000s: Buffy, Angel, Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse.


Description

This is a history of the decades-long love affair between a powerful alternative sexuality called BDSM (bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism) and an innovative narrative genre called science fiction and fantasy (SF&F). The book shows how SF&F provides easy access to the language, symbols, rituals and ethics of BDSM. Science fiction and fantasy offer strikingly positive representations of BDSM, while the marginal status of SF&F ensures that these representations will not normalize BDSM out of existence. These sympathetic yet subversive representations encourage audiences to view BDSM as an ethical sexuality, while simultaneously permitting BDSM to retain its transgressive identity. This book explores representations of BDSM in the Wonder Woman comics of the 1940s, in the novels and short stories that Samuel Delany and James Tiptree wrote between the 1960s and 1980s, and in the television shows of the 1990s and 2000s: Buffy, Angel, Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse.


Reviews

'BDSM in American Science Fiction and Fantasy is a pure pleasure. At once lightly written and theoretically informed, contemporary and historical, it will appeal to science fiction and fantasy fans, literary and cultural theorists, historians of popular culture, and any reader looking for fresh and enlivening approaches to the books, characters, and shows it discusses.'
- Karmen MacKendrick, Le Moyne College, USA, author of Counterpleasures
 
'This is an engagingly written and deeply engaged study of the surprisingly lengthy "love affair" between BDSM and American science fiction and fantasy. Whether re-reading relatively familiar material such as Delany's Triton or introducing new material such as Joss Whedon's recent Dollhouse series, Call's analyses are intriguing, enlightening, and always convincing. This is an important study that brings together two cultural practices – BDSM and sf/f – that were made for each other.'
- Veronica Hollinger, Trent University, Canada, co-editor of Science Fiction Studies
 


Contents

Introduction: BDSM + SF&F = Love
Submitting to a Loving Mistress: BDSM in William Moulton Marston's Wonder Woman Comics
Structures of Desire: BDSM in the Science Fiction and Fantasy of Samuel R. Delany
'This Wondrous Death': Power, Sex and Death in the Science Fiction of James Tiptree, Jr.
Death, Sex and the Cylon: Battlestar Galactica's Existential Kink
'Sounds Like Kinky Business to Me': BDSM on Buffy and Angel
'It's About Trust': Slavery and Ethics in the Dollhouse
Bibliography
Index


Authors

LEWIS CALL is Associate Professor of History at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, USA. He is the author of Postmodern Anarchism and numerous articles about post-anarchism. He has written extensively about alternative narrative genres like science fiction and fantasy, alternative sexualities like BDSM, and the important intersections between these genres and these sexualities. He holds the Mr. Pointy Award for Buffy Studies scholarship.