From the Editor

Fall 2021

Ian Campbell
Editor, SFRA Review

My memories of last fall are of constant anxiety and insomnia. I genuinely believed that monster was going to win re-election, and that my daughter and every other woman would be soon reduced to de jure as well as de facto second-tier citizenship. Now, I’m no less anxious, but the fear is not so immediate; yet unless we begin to think of ourselves as a coalition against fascism rather than a fractious party divided into two groups with very different agendas, we’re headed toward authoritarian minority rule, all while the climate apocalypse keeps ticking away. A 74-year-old coal baron and a proudly out queer woman who was once a member of the Green Party are keeping us from addressing that apocalypse, while the other party actively denies its existence or even exacerbates it. Imagine an agent or publisher finding any of this plausible as a work of SF. Now imagine a work of SF that estranges a modern society facing the climate challenge by having its foundational document written with a feather on a sheepskin by an all-male group of aristocrats who were mostly slaveowners.

I say all this well aware that I personally have a great deal of societal privilege: were I able to plausibly claim that I’m a Christian, I’d pretty much run the table on it. In this issue of SFRA Review, we present to you two different perspectives on SF from folks who can plausibly claim they’ve already suffered through the, or an, apocalypse.

In our Features section, we have a roundtable discussion on the state of Black Indie SF, centering on how a group of people often excluded from mainstream publishing both put out their work and deal with both the exclusion and the still-imperfect attempts at inclusion. The discussion is fascinating in itself, but its organizers have also included links to publishers, sites, authors and events: please take the time to introduce yourself to this most excellent discourse. Our symposium in this issue, Trans-Indigenous Futurity, examines SF by and from Indigenous authors from North America. Much of the fiction examined by the scholars in this symposium addresses the apocalypse that for many of these groups is and has always already happened. Please take the time to explore these fascinating and valuable perspectives.

In addition, we introduce our Fiction section in this issue. We urge you to submit your own works of SF for subsequent issues. And as we move toward peer review, please make sure the graduate students and emerging scholars in your network are aware of the opportunity for peer-reviewed publication through SFRA Review.

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SFRA Review is the flagship publication of the Science Fiction Research Association since 1971.

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