Editor, SFRA Review
Welcome to Volume 52 of the SFRA Review. We’re nearly as old as the Super Bowl and filled with more content. In this issue, we have the first half of our symposium on SF from Hungary, which contains articles and interviews; in addition, we have a wide selection of papers from the LSFRC conference held recently via the virtual meeting technology that I rather doubt will ever stop being the norm.
Technology doesn’t always flatten the curves of hierarchy and privilege: all I have to do to understand this is to compare my own Facebook feed to that of my World War II veteran father. How and why it doesn’t flatten these curves is increasingly the subject of twenty-first century SF: I look forward to works published in the immediate near future where the effect of simultaneous physical isolation and constant online companionship is estranged. For the very most part, I applaud the shift to virtual meetings, precisely because they flatten hierarchy and privilege.
We can hold the upcoming SFRA conference “in” Oslo, and not worry about the prohibitive costs of travel even for privileged, tenured scholars like me: now, it’s trivial for graduate students, independent scholars, visiting/adjunct faculty and even regular faculty who don’t have access to travel funds to add their perspectives to the discourse at conferences. Nothing can quite replace the collegiality of walking into a meeting room or the hotel bar and randomly encountering colleagues: those sorts of ad hoc discussions are the best and sometimes even productive. Nevertheless, on balance the shift has made the discourse around SF better—and more importantly, fairer.
Please see our CFP on sexual violence in SF: I very much hope you’ll consider contributing. I leave you with a photograph of my daughter from 2016, when I tried to troll her into thinking that the Noah’s Ark story was real. Not all SF is cognitively plausible, even within the world of the text.