From the Vice President

SFRA Review, vol. 53, no. 4

From the Vice President

From the Vice President

Ida Yoshinaga

The committee to select our Support a New Scholar Award for 2023-2024, including past winner Guangzhao Lyu, former SFRA President Keren Omry, and myself, was delighted by the quality of submissions received for the Track A (graduate student) category by the November 1, 2022, deadline.

Compared to earlier in the award’s history, we believe that recent efforts we’ve made to internationalize and diversify the Science Fiction Research Association are showing in the remarkable quality, range, and multifaceted nature of the applicants. Immaterial labor in our field is also transforming, as the academic job market grows more competitive and casualized…thus generating new breeds of scholars marked by versatility, heightened inter-disciplinarity, and multiple skill sets ranging from creative (print-literary) writing to translation to digital and interactive arts.

Thus we chose to award not one, but three, new scholars this time around—and the SFRA Executive Committee agreed. While the whole cohort of applicants were extremely exciting, we found the following selectees especially impressive.

First, we were floored by the application of University of Warwick Ph.D. student Nora Castle, whose leadership in the urgent, pandemic-era-salient field of food futures, whose strong publication record as author/co-author and editor/co-editor of several upcoming food-and-environmental-humanities collections, which are evolving this growing discourse forward, and whose recent service to the SFRA, as well as sustained participation in networks of interesting new SFF scholars, showcased Castle as what we’d consider a promising “traditional,” albeit clearly interdisciplinary and visionary, scholar.

Second, representing the increasingly popular, multiple-career pathway–especially among BIPOC, female, non-Western, and/or LGBTQIA+ researchers–we were amazed by the substantial global-SF contributions of University of California, Riverside, Ph.D. student Yilun Fan, who in addition to presenting at many scholarly meetings and producing numerous academic articles and essays on Chinese and comparative (i.e., Latinx and Chinese) speculative fiction, also has published several of her own award-winning creative works and her English-to-Chinese translations of leading SFF scholars’ articles so as to bring Western genre theory (such as Mark Bould’s analysis of Afrofuturism) to global reading audiences.

Finally, as a futuristic signal of where SF studies may be heading in terms of its application to digital-media platforms and Suvinian theory-in-practice, we were moved by the innovative hybrid scholarship-blended-with-creative work of Georgia Institute of Technology Ph.D. student Terra Mae Gasque, whose digital gaming research and design/coding practice explores the intersection of queerness, cognition, and player failure. Gasque has written for SFRA Review and attended our annual meeting, as well as published in SF scholarly collections; her dissertation develops, discusses, and

creates a virtual-reality game aimed at rethinking the very foundations of digital ludic design through embedding queer failure into its ethical inquiries.

The selectees represent the next generation of SF thinkers who embrace–to adapt a phrase from one applicant–SF as a mode. They’ve moved us away from mid-twentieth-century escapist notions of the genre as a U.S. pulp-literary hobby and towards global, multidimensional, active SF expression through practice and production.

Congratulations, Nora, Yilun, and Terra!

Ida Yoshinaga, VP

From the Vice President

SFRA Review, vol. 52, no. 4

From the SFRA Executive Committee

From the Vice President

Ida Yoshinaga

Aloha, SFRA members,

As we, the networks of Earth, flow towards mid-twenty-first century singularity from a wide spacetime perspective and we enter yet another holiday season from the smaller sense of human affective momentum, I find myself thinking about my own, small-f “futurisms.” Perhaps for the first time ever—very odd for a lifetime learner in science-fiction studies.

The collective that taught me how to think will turn into a “majority-minority” society in another 22 years, so I envision myself in Future Georgia, watching my students from this semester evolve into full persons, enchanting what’s been red and purple into a deep indigo-like blue in another 10.

The collective of my ancestors will spin its centuries of modernist love for artificiality, commerce, and form into a line of pleasingly mannered, sentient and multi-gendered, service workers. They’ll be facing that classical Nipponese dilemma—order and pleasure, or discomforting revolution—in another 80 (crossing into the twenty-second’s threshhold).

And I will labor at my present factory, the STEMmy mothership, tirelessly, relentlessly, until my favorite organ crepes into spotted curtains draped from my elbows and tailbone. I’ll drain my spirit turning human storytelling into one of those new monsters, a growling electrical beast who can generate fables and novels and screenplays autonomously. Like the scientist in the story, I will be shocked when the creature turns on me, on humanity. In another 30.

But mostly, a week before we take out the costumes and for the first time since the virus, join in on the parades…Before our souls homecome to family and community with three rounds of seasonal fantasy make-pretend (ghosts, unpredatory colonial settlers, Klaus)…I’m looking back. As part of my small-f futurism; otherwise, how can one grasp the meaning, the impact, of the flow towards all these someday-presents?

So: Thank you, Jessica Fitzpatrick, for your attention to detail, conscientious and necessary financial work, positive demeanor and imaginative orientation, and for doing what’s probably the second-hardest job (next to Gerry’s) in our Executive Committee.

Thank you, Sean Guynes, whose egoless service to SFRA of course eclipses the minute and diligent secretarial duties you’ve offered up these past years. I see you: your systematic and long-term questions, fixes, quiet administrative contributions.

Mahalo, Keren Omry, who along with Sean and Gerry, ushered me into this association. Global feminist leadership modeled; now the IAFA is fortunate to benefit from your hefty organizational smarts.

Crushingest of kaiju-sized hugs to Gerry Canavan, whose stewardship has honestly felt a little like that of the mythical space captain in that syndicated live-action series I’d watched as a child on Maui in the ‘70s. Intuitive, action-oriented when needs be, thinking always of crew and community. Funny on occasion (albeit not in a Shatneresque way). I know you hate the term praxis, so let’s simply ignore that you’re the embodiment of the best of this. Very glad you’re still on board. I’m here for another few.

From the Vice President

SFRA Review, vol. 52, no. 3

From the SFRA Executive Committee

From the Vice President

Ida Yoshinaga

Dear colleagues,

Thanks to all participants in our “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging” (DEIB) hybrid session, held on June 29 during our Oslo summer conference. We on the Executive Committee appreciate Simran, Sabiha, Athira, Founder, Aishwarya, Manuel, Ingvill, SC, Larisa, Tânia, Flip, Jaak, Kara, Steve, Candice, Sara, Andrew, Sarah, Priteegandha, Chris, and others who attended, including those who shared these critiques and suggestions:

  • This conference expanded the areas of representation compared to previous ones.
  • The yet-unbalanced dynamic between whiteness/white scholars (often speaking for/about other cultures) and marginalized/regional groups (Indigenous peoples, etc.) remains the “elephant in the room.” Power still tends to flow in 1 direction.
  • Accept conference papers/panels based in part on their DEIB balance issues; rethink paper-acceptance policy or conference-site proposal selection, by being more conscious of such issues.
  • Fund projects with hands-on approaches to sf in regional communities (e.g., those working with child readers in India).
  • Greater visual accessibility for presentations, with prepared subtitles or transcripts; or use the hybrid format to display papers’ words onscreen.
  • The antiracism workshops should not only deal with U.S.-based racism but also European and other forms; we could also focus on methodology such as addressing ethics of researchers’ positionality/intersectionality; or such as ethics of Indigenous literary research in Europe (etc.).
  • Appoint a careers-research officer and an equality/diversity/ inclusion officer. [Note: the EC decided to approach DEIB from many angles among various responsible charges, rather than hold 1 person responsible.]
  • Support networks of emerging scholars from around the world, especially the Global South (being done in Germany and in Canadian studies); also, networks of early-career scholars in Europe and the Americas.
  • Conference format marginalizes online participants. Facilitators should engage all participants including virtual ones. Greater inclusion in webinars may help online attendees feel less lonely, more engaged. [Note: In Europe, there are privacy issues with some online formats; signed author forms, however, might aid in this, and help address the question of why not distribute emails of all presenters?]
  • Address larger question, “What is science fiction?,” from the perspective of different global populations.
  • The sheer power of one keynote (Laura Ponce) unapologetically giving her talk in Spanish was appreciated.
  • Consider providing child care (accessibility). [Note: Other conferences have found this issue tricky.]
  • Give attendees the choice of 10- or 20-min. papers.
  • Volunteer positions include conference committees and awards committees; however, compensation is an issue many.
  • More formal mentorship is desired esp. for BIPOC folk.
  • Better time zones needed for the bulk of the sessions.
  • A roundtable, not of regular SFRA committee members, but of others, to discuss careers research and/or DEIB issues, might be a good idea.
  • A Counter Space and a Keynote panel would be helpful, too.
  • Join in on a global-sf translation publication project which includes fandom-generated works, put together by Larisa Mikhaylova ( towards facilitating diversity in the field.

Keep sharing your ideas,
Ida Yoshinaga, VP

From the Vice President

SFRA Review, vol. 52, no. 2

From the SFRA Executive Committee

From the Vice President

Ida Yoshinaga

As we head to our first truly hybrid conference, in Oslo and online this summer, it is my pleasure to facilitate a follow-up discussion on diversity and inclusion for the global SF studies community that is the Science Fiction Research Association. Last year’s organizers—in response to critical, helpful feedback on the conference program by our membership—started this conversation on how our association can perform social justice in its institutional practice in addition to appreciating it in textual analyses. We hope to become the sort of organization that puts the “Co” in “CoFuturisms,” in other words.

Such conversations have been transpiring in traditional academic disciplines as well as our modest field of speculative/fantastic studies. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) issues are not exclusive of other, related discussions we have been holding among the SFRA Executive Committee—for instance, how to widen our scope of country representatives so as to include more participants who are not from the Global North. How to conduct better outreach to members of non-traditional class-, gender-, sexuality-, age-, ability-, and other thriving communities of intellectuals, educators, and artists who love our family of genres. How to support our rich breadth of scholars through more extensive networking and mentorship activities as well as improved travel and research funds. And so on.

At SFRA 2022 this summer, there will be a DEIB panel that invites you to share suggestions and proposals for widening the reach of our organization, for making it more safe and encouraging to join for diverse thinkers and creatives in SF studies, and for reflecting conscientiously on the outcomes of such efforts as we move together into the future. I take my lead from observing other academic associations—for instance, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, which in the mid-2010s advanced a free trial 2-year membership for Indigenous scholars as a way to signal a welcoming space for Native, Aboriginal, First Nations, and similar researchers. For many, an SFRA membership might come secondarily after signing up to belong to a key association in one’s discipline (e.g., the MLA or ASA)—or inter-discipline (e.g., in the field of Native studies, NAISA; or of film/media studies, SCMS), as the case may be. For “alt-ac” researchers and adjuncts; for BIPOC and first-generation college-graduate scholars; for LGBTQIA faculty and storytellers working under varied social conditions, how do we facilitate membership in a vibrant, nourishing organization, so as to be competitive with other associations?

Come with your concrete suggestions for practice, policy, evaluation, finance, organizing. Come with your experiences with, and knowledge of, other associations’ (or programs’/ institutions’) imaginative, effective DEIB changes. If you can, reduce it to ONE page—outline, paragraph summary, bulleted list—to share online onscreen and in our Oslo meeting room with fellow attendees. And come with your curiosity for the future.

From the Vice President

SFRA Review, vol. 52, no. 1

From the SFRA Executive Committee

From the Vice President

Ida Yoshinaga

Greetings, SFRA–Hoping that your health and personal journeys thrive in the Year of the Tiger.
As vice president, I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge about the speculative and fantastical genres, as I meet with you in 2022. I hope to hear about your scholarship and artistry–so do not hesitate to be in touch, especially should I run into you (virtually or in person) at March’s ICFA or our annual summer meeting in Oslo! 

We just held SFRA’s first-of-2022 gathering of country representatives over Zoom, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out how intellectually persistent and curious SFRA members have been (thus far!) during this third year of the global pandemic. Reps from Estonia (which will host a national SFRA conference in the next few years) and South Korea testified as to how the field is growing in their regions, while others from Europe, the U.S., and Latin America spoke of intriguing hybrid and online conferences on posthumanism, AI, materialism, weird narratives, spoiler studies (!), critical futures research, and affect theory. Many have been publishing on a slew of old-reliable SF subgenres (cyberpunk, utopian studies, cinematic/televisual spec fic, area/language studies) in all kinds of fresh, necessary, fascinating collections.

Everyone has been astonishingly generative amidst the spread of corona’s variants! And calls for a hopeful speculative arts, for comforting genre stories that inspire optimism and celebrate utopian communalism, have bloomed…though these have never quite been my jam. But what public-health historians are calling a mass-disabling event are giving at least some people pause to rethink anti-science ideologies. In the U.S. south (where I now reside), we are finally seeing people queue in long car lines for free COVID-19 testing. The hardcore dystopian inside me who has waited a whole life to experience the apocalypse—that films and pop culture of a 1970s childhood had once promised—is now giving way to a fresh variant. She does not bake sourdough, but she does dig into her family recipe file to re-make ancestral meals anew. If the world is ending soon, this is not what the post-apocalyptic playbook had laid out as the first step towards humanity’s inevitable return to its own decisive mistakes.

We will try to freshen SFRA with mindful, engaged conversations about how to diversify our membership ranks, to (further) globalize our conversations and research, and to live lives  vibrant and rich with community-centered imaginative arts. Why not share your ideas with us in this growling wildcat of a year!

From the Vice President

SFRA Review, vol. 51, no. 4

From the SFRA Executive Committee

From the Vice President

Sonja Fritzsche
Michigan State University

The SFRA Support a New Scholar Grant deadline will have closed when this goes to press on November 1, 2021 for the independent and non-tenure track scholar competition. For those interested in the graduate student competition look for that call in the early fall of 2022.

We are excited to be discussing plans for a hybrid conference in 2022 hosted by Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay of the CoFutures initiative at the University of Oslo in Norway. Dates are Monday, June 27, 2022 through Friday, July 1, 2022. This will no doubt be one of our most compelling and international conferences yet!

The SFRA Country Representatives have continued their quarterly meetings and brainstormed ways to support/mentor graduate students and early career scholars in the respective cultural and geographical contexts at the last meeting. The next meeting will be in January 2022. We continue to look for new representatives so please e-mail me if you are interested ( and share your global events on Facebook, Twitter, and the SFRA list. The current rep list is: Look for the contributions of the country reps in each SFRA News to learn more about what is going on in various places in the world in the study of SF.

And finally, I bid you farewell with sadness as the outgoing Vice President since I will finish my three year term at the end of December 2021. The past three years have been a joy as I have worked with such dedicated colleagues on the executive committee who have put in so much work on conferences and in other organizational matters during a time of significant upheaval. Some important bylaws changes were recently passed that should help to make the society more inclusive in a variety of ways. We are all responsible for ensuring that happens in the way that it was imagined, so consider putting yourself forward or nominating deserving others for some of the new openings as excellent stewardship opportunities. Congratulations to incoming VP Ida Yoshinaga who will bring much creative energy to the position. You all are in excellent hands! Thank you to the other candidates who ran as well. We hope you will run again in the future and/or help out with other various SFRA functions, as there is always the need for service from people dedicated to the furthering the study of science fiction. Ciao for now!

From the Vice President

SFRA Review, vol. 51, no. 3

From the SFRA Executive Committee

From the Vice President

Sonja Fritzsche
Michigan State University

Our first virtual conference was a success and attracted a greater number of participants than usual including more international representation!! Many thanks to the virtual conference host Graham Murphy and his institution Seneca College in Toronto, Canada!! Thank you too to Keren Omry who put the program together as well as Gerry Canavan, Sean Guynes, Hugh O’Connell who helped to run the conference and Carma Spence for the program art. The keynote speakers, many high-quality presentations, discussions, and hang-outs prompted by the conference theme—“The Future As/In Inequality”—made it especially memorable. Thank you to everyone who patiently navigated the technology as the conference progressed. Congratulations to all of the winners of the 2020 and the 2021 Awards!! We were finally able to congratulate both years. We especially want to thank the guests and participants who engaged with intentionality and candor in the special events surrounding race, bias, equity, and belonging both in the organization and in the broader academy. The Executive Committee has already engaged in meetings to follow-up on some of the resulting ideas from these sessions. More information will be forthcoming soon.  The next conference in summer 2022 will be hosted by Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay of the Blindern Campus at the University of Oslo in Oslo, Norway. This will most likely also be a virtual conference given the continued challenges across the globe as a result of the pandemic. It should be a very compelling event, so look for more information as it comes available.

The SFRA Country Representatives have met twice this year and are planning the next virtual meeting in early September. This initiative was organized in an effort to encourage support for the study of science fiction globally and also to help these scholars network with each other. Responsibilities include acting as an informational liaison between the SFRA and the country’s science fiction scholarly community through the promotion of events, new membership outreach, and otherwise helping to connect in the spirit of international communication and collaboration. It is possible for a country to have more than one liaison. All country representatives must be current members of the SFRA. If you would like to contact your representative with ideas or for more information, you can find their name on the website at They represent seventeen different countries. Country reps are also contributing to each issue of the SFRA News, so look for that essay in these pages. If you are interested in being a country representative, you can contact me at

Please also continue to pass on your announcements and any cfps that you would like to have posted on the SFRA Facebook or Twitter pages.

From the Vice President

SFRA Review, vol. 51, no. 2

From the SFRA Executive Committee

From the Vice President

Sonja Fritzsche
Michigan State University

The draft program for the annual conference SFRA 21 will be coming soon; its title “The Future of/as Inequality.” The conference host Graham Murphy at Seneca College in Toronto, Canada has been working hard on organizing the virtual conference and is looking forward to greeting you from Friday, June 18 to Monday, June 21, 2021. Keynotes speakers include Madeline Ashby (author of Company Town, How to Future: Leading and Sensemaking in an Age of Hyperchange, and the Machine Dynasty series), Dr. Joy Sanchez-Taylor (Diverse Futures: Science Fiction and Authors of Color), and Dr. Lars Schmeink (Biopunk Dystopias: Genetic Engineering, Society and Science Fiction; The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture, Cyberpunk and Visual Culture). Special guest Aisha Matthews (The MOSF Journal of Science Fiction and Director of Literary Programming for the Museum of Science Fiction’s annual Escape Velocity Conference) will speak as well. The virtual conference is expanding opportunities to present more globally and SFRA is no exception! We missed you last year, so we are looking forward to great conversations as we catch up on the most recent debates in science fiction studies. Don’t forget to renew your membership. Conference registration is open now and a low virtual rate!

Look soon too for more information on SFRA 2022, which will be hosted by Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay at the University of Oslo, and also for the location of SFRA 2023. Consider attending the business meeting at the conference to find out ways you can get more involved in the organization or e-mail me if you have questions or an interest for the future. Make sure to check the SFRA Facebook and Twitter pages and the website for recent cfps, events, and other announcements of interest to those who do research on science fiction. If you have a call or an event that you would like to circulate, please send me an e-mail or feel free to post it yourself. If you are looking for a resource, consider contacting the relevant SFRA Country Representative for help.

Borders in Grain and Blade Runner 2049 and Their Relation to Dystopian Fiction

SFRA Review, vol. 51, no. 1

Symposium: Beyond Borders

Borders in Grain and Blade Runner 2049 and Their Relation to Dystopian Fiction

Seyedhamed Moosavi

Dystopian fiction abounds with the subject of borders, posing the question of why rigid borders become significant in some major dystopias or dystopian fiction, and what psychological effects rigid border policies can have on individuals. In this article, I will show that geographical and political borders manifest on different levels in dystopia. Borders within dystopia are a means to achieving certain psychological ends to control the masses. They accordingly manifest themselves on four different levels.

Type 1: Closed Geographical Borders

The first type is the border that divides countries. In Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, for instance, the couple in the story gets caught trying to escape past the border of a dystopian America into Canada. In another example, in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, the apparently civilized world of the novel has been separated from, and is oblivious to, what it calls “the Savage World.” The Swedish author Karin Boye’s novel Kallocain “World State”, too, presents a society that is oblivious to what life is like across its borders, supposing those living across the border to be a different species, while, in fact, we understand they are anything but.

In Semih Kaplanoğlu’s SF movie Grain, which I am going to discuss, urban life is separated from the multiethnic rural life with dangerous high-voltage electrical poles that immediately incinerate anyone who dares to cross them. Although the urban areas plagued by riots are kept under control by military force and the dominant ideology (which aims to subjugate the population into subservience), they are afforded certain privileges such as better hygiene, housing, technological advantages, and even brothels. On the other hand, the rural areas suffer from a deadly pandemic, are spied upon all the time by drones, and have almost no wildlife left. It is, therefore, important to note that closed borders are used a) to demonstrate that what is across the border is inferior, contemptible, or insignificant (in 1984, for instance, what is across the border is, derogatorily, referred to as “the enemy”, whereas in Brave New World,the people across the border are “savage” and, therefore, inferior and insignificant); b) tight geographical borders also serve the purpose of distorting the reality of life beyond the borders (the borderline between what is real and what is illusory is blurred); and c) they are ultimately used to morally disengage individuals. According to social psychologist Albert Bandura, moral disengagement is a psychological mechanism “at which moral self-censure can be disengaged from reprehensible conduct”. (Bandura 102)

For instance, euphemistic labeling, an effective moral disengagement tactic, is used to give positive names to evil organizations or evil actions. In 1984, the Ministry of Love is actually a horrendous organization that tortures and kills individuals. The Ministry of Truth, another organization in the novel, propagates lies. In Grain, too, despite all the evil in his world, Professor Erol Eron (Jean-Marc Barr), the protagonist and the main geneticist of the food company Novus Vita, prides himself in having a new house in the more privileged urban area. Eren informs Akman (Ermin Bravo), another geneticist, that he was, at least for a while, able to revive the dead soil enough to be cultivated. Akman asks Eren what he received in return. Eren answers that he was “promoted and moved into a better house.” This shows that Eren has limited awareness of the suffering around him and sees no reason to feel guilty about the advantages he reaps, which are ultimately used to protect the privileged urban areas and the profits of his company at the cost of the rest. Eren uses diffusion of responsibility to morally disengage himself: he feels like a cog in a machine who does what he is told, with no personal responsibility for the impact of his actions at all.

Borders can be said to make residents morally disengaged merely by relying on the fact that seeing is a much stronger humanizing factor than hearing. When we hear things, we rely on truth-claims without experiencing things for ourselves. As an instance of the humanizing power of seeing, Albert Bandura cites a Pulitzer Prize winning photograph “that captured the anguished cries of a little girl whose clothes were burned off by the napalm bombing of her village”, believing that “This single humanisation of inflicted destruction probably did more to turn the American public against the war than the countless reports led by journalists. (Bandura 108) In Grain, the fact that Professor Eren sees with his own eyes the realities beyond the borders of the Urban areas (dearth, hunger, epidemic on the one hand, and discovering fertile soil, woods beyond a wall, and an ant carrying grain at the end of the film on the other) that make him hesitate about going to his city. In Dick’s novel, as another instance of the power of seeing over hearing, it is seeing the singer Luba Luft’s reaction to fear at her own death—“her eyes faded and the colour dimmed from her face, leaving it cadaverous” (Dick 130)—that makes the bounty hunter Deckard decide not to kill her.

It seems, however, that the most important function of closed borders is to create a sense of helplessness in individuals. In the late sixties, Martin Seligman conducted a series of experiments on dogs that came to be known as the theory of “Learned Helplessness.” In their experiments, out of three groups of dogs, two groups were administered electric shocks and a third group were put on harnesses and later released. While group two could stop the shock by pressing a lever, group three had no control over the shocks. Later, all the three groups were put inside shuttle boxes with two chambers inside divided by a low barrier. This time, the electric shock administered was on one side and the dogs could avoid it by jumping over the barrier. Interestingly, while the dogs in group one and two jumped over the barrier, the dogs in group three just remained in their place and whimpered. Because they had learned previously that nothing they did could actually stop the shock, they didn’t see a point in trying. (Seligman 407) Tight borders in dystopia can function in the same way. The individual feels helpless, as if they have no control over their lives even if they decide to leave the situation they are in and they give up trying. In the movie Grain, for example, leaving the urban areas either means certain death or is extremely difficult. Such mechanisms, however, are not limited to what goes on across the borders of a country; they can effectively be used inside these borders.

Type 2: Borders within Dystopia

The second type of border exists within the borders of dystopias and divides the minority from the supposedly obedient majority. Perhaps one of the main ways minorities are depicted in the SF genre is as androids, especially in Dick’s fiction. Androids in both Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and its film adaptations Blade Runner (1982) and Blade Runner 2049 (2017) are different from humans and therefore subject to persecution and killing. Social psychology suggests that humans mostly have sympathy for what resembles them, what they are associated with, and what is closer to them in space and time. (Zimbardo 131) What is not associated with us or least resembles us, is not related to us and feels removed from us, arousing little sympathy. When a majority finds a minority least resembling it or associated with it, acts of dehumanization become easier.

In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, even though Deckard at some point doubts whether he really is human or android, we are made sure that he is a human and not an android.  In Blade Runner the movie, however, deliberately breaks the boundaries between human and android by raising the question whether the blade runner Deckard himself might be an android (called replicants in the movie). In Blade Runner 2049, however, there is proof that androids are closely associated with humans. What differentiates this work from its two predecessors, however, is that Deckard’s replicant lover, Rachael, who is dead, is discovered to have given birth 28 years before, breaking the boundaries between human and android by giving birth to the first half-human, half-android child. Isabel Miller emphasizes that the crux of the last film, unlike both Dick’s novel and Ridley Scott’s adaptation, is less “epistemological” than “psychoanalytic” (emphasizing the father figure and “the primal scene”): androids are manufactured and the initial question is if they were sentient beings in a Cartesian sense, but the question in Blade Runner 2049 has become: are they “born” too? This question sets K (Ryan Gosling), the replicant protagonist, on a quest to find out if he is the first born android. The authorities in this movie do not want this fact to be known however; as Miller emphasizes K’s female boss, Lt. Joshi (Robin Wright) is “intent on creating boundaries and borders”. (Miller 194) Joshi justifies that “The world is built on a wall. It separates kind. Tell either side there’s no wall, you bought a war. Or a slaughter”. (Blade Runner 2049 26:00-27:00)

One of the most significant mechanisms that can divide the members of a society is highlighting or exaggerating the dissimilarities and downsizing the commonalities, especially to make the minority feel that they do not belong in the society that they are actually a part of. Mechanisms of moral disengagement such as de-individuation, demonization, blaming the minority for the problems of a society are also effective tools for creating a border. One of the ways to achieve this is to attach dehumanizing and over-generalizing labels to the minority. In the novel, for instance, the character Phil Resch refers to androids as “murderous illegal aliens.” (Dick 62) In Blade Runner 2049, replicants are still “retired”, not killed. Numbers (or letters, as with Blade Runner 2049’s protagonist K) also serve the purpose of de-individuation. Philip E. Wegner, by drawing a parallel between the US policies under Trump, and, similarly believing that replicants in both movies are symbols of immigrants and outsiders draws our attention to such tactics in hating androids for no apparent reason and calling them “skinners” who might even “eat children”. (Wegner 137) What is anonymous moves further away from us in our minds and becomes less familiar, and is, therefore, more easily treated as an object. In dystopia, usually because of the psychological and regional borders that create a rift between people of different cultural, linguistic, or ethnic backgrounds, the majority in power do not come into direct and first-person contact with those in the minority and instead of experiencing and knowing the minority’s culture for themselves (such as making friends, knowing each other on an individual level, getting to enjoy and celebrate their differences), they rely on false truth claims and distorted representation of the minority that have little if any truth in them and are intended to subjugate and dehumanize them. In Blade Runner 2049, the fact that a baby has been born to an android is not just a possible “a symbol in the struggle” to emancipate replicants, (Wegner 138) but will also prove them to be far more similar to humans than has been shown. Keren Omry considers this birth in the movie to be (at least initially) a significant factor in actuating K to behave responsibly and unite Deckard (Harrison Ford) with his daughter Ana (Carla Juri), who is the real miracle child. (Omry 111) But both Omry and Sean Guynes conclude that it is the fact that K realized that he was not the chosen one that leads him take the right moral stance. While it is K’s mistake in thinking that he himself was the miracle child helped him to fight against his de-individuation and made him empathize more with both humans and other replicants, it was, as Guynes reminds us, K’s realization that he was part of a people, “a beat in the rhythm, a moment in the flow,” irrespective of whether he was the chosen one or not, which ultimately made him act morally. (Guynes 148) 

Type 3: Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Borders

The third type of border is both interpersonal and intrapersonal. It is an indispensible corollary of the previous two types of borders. Firstly, it is important that people spy on each other. Although this subject is not a central theme in Blade Runner 2049 and Grain, mistrust between people, as an inevitable consequence, is seen in both. The world of Blade Runner 2049 is similar to Grain’s wasteland; nature and animals are mostly dead; one cannot know whether a person is a replicant, a spy, or a replicant friend belonging to the underground movement. In Grain, too, the existence of riots, prison camps, military rule, and drones all mean that people cannot trust each other. Fear is the psychological mechanism by which dystopias and despotic governments operate: it is the opposite of a feeling of trust. What we fear we cannot trust, and what we do not know arouses suspicion and mistrust. In dystopias, this fear is essential for the ruling power as a tool for controlling the people. One’s spouse can be a spy. That is why family ties and intimacy in relationships are targeted, discouraged, or forbidden by the dystopian regime. The fact that no one is able to trust another person, even those closest to one, means that the totalitarian regime is trying to give its citizens the sense that none of their actions, or what they express as opinions, are, or can be, hidden from them, or remain unknown to the ruling power. This acute sense of being surveilled is, in turn, internalized to the point where one expects to be unable to trust their loved ones and acts accordingly.

Here, we enter the realm of the individual, the secret self that can be hidden from others and is the only safe place for the person. Hence, in dystopian societies, the person creates a border that can widely divide their inner self (the real self that is known to themselves) and a social self (which is in shape the dystopian regime requires of its citizens). Therefore, a border is created within the individual (intra-persona border). But the dystopian ruling power does not want this secret self to exist; it wants to subjugate the totality of the individual, hence the Thought Police, and the spying drones.

In Grain, in the scene where professor Eren and Akman are sitting around a fire, Eren tells Akman the reason he crossed the border was to look for him. Akman tells him that “you’d better look for yourself.” The self in “yourself” can be interpreted as the self that has been taken away by the ruling power. In 1984, the Party is cognizant of the fact that the inner self of the individual must be erased and replaced by the ideal citizen that will ensure its continued survival and domination. The individual who has not completely internalized the teachings of the regime must know that even if they were able to keep their thoughts to themselves, the Party might find ways of accessing their secret thoughts, feelings, and fears.

Type 4: Temporal Borders

In Grain and Blade Runner 2049, too, one would expect “splintered selves”, although other types of borders are marked as stronger themes in the two films. In both films, the past is denied, which is the last of the four major border types in our division, namely “the temporal border.” 

As an example of the temporal border in Grain, the young man who accompanies professor Eren across the border tells him that if he remembers “correctly,” his childhood camp “was right behind” the hills. Grain leaves more questions unanswered. What was Eren’s own past? What exactly went wrong in the film? The movie appears to be more focused on how things have turned out than what went on before. There might be two reasons for this. Firstly, Grain builds upon other major themes in the SF genre by suggesting that the planet was plagued by chemical wars, synthetic products, and authoritarianism; corporate wealth and power took over and the earth became uninhabitable and was subsequently divided into three main parts: “the city”, “the untended nature”, and the supposedly “dead lands.” Its focus on the present might have another, (more significant) reason: the past is supposed to be insignificant in the film: in dystopian fiction and societies, the borders have a cyclical order. It appears, then, that the stronger the geographical borders of a country or society, the stronger the border dividing the present from the past. Just as the reality of what is across the closed geographical borders is either denigrated, distorted, and/or depicted as malevolent, so is the past, in a similar fashion, denigrated, distorted, or considered insignificant.


Bandura, Albert. “Selective Moral Disengagement in the Exercise of Moral Agency.” Journal of Moral Education, vol. 31, no. 6, 2002, pp. 102-119. Taylor & Francis Online,

Dick, Philip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Ballantine, 1996.

Guynes, Sean. “Dystopia fatigue doesn’t cut it, or, Blade Runner 2049 ‘s utopian longings.” Science Fiction Film and Television, vol. 13, no. 1, Liverpool University Press, 2020, pp. 143-148. Project Muse,

Grain. Directed by Semih Kaplanoğlu. Performances by Jean-marc Barr and Ermin Bravo, Kaplan Film, Apr 26, 2017.

Omry, Keren. “‘Cells. Interlinked’: Sympathy and obligation in Blade Runner 2049.” Science Fiction Film and Television, vol. 13, no. 1, Liverpool University Press, 2020, pp. 107-112. Project Muse,

Millar, Isabel. “‘Before We Even Know What We Are, We Fear to Lose It.’: the Missing Object of the Primal Scene.” Lacanian Perspectives on Blade Runner 2049, edited by Calum Neill, Palgrave Macmillan, 2021, pp. 189-208.    

Blade Runner 2049. Directed by Villeneuve, Denis, performances by Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas, Columbia pictures, 2017.

Seligman, M. E. P. 1972. ‘Learned Helplessness’. Annual Review of Medicine, 23.1: 407-412. 

Wegner, Philip E. “We, the people of Blade Runner 2049.” Science Fiction Film and Television, vol. 13, no.1, Liverpool University Press, 2020, pp. 135-142. Project Muse,

Zimbardo, Philip G. “Mind Control in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: Fictional Concepts Become Operational Realities in Jim Jones’s Jungle Experiment.” On Nineteen Eighty-Four Orwell and our Future, edited by Abbott Gleason et al. Princeton UP, 2005, pp. 127–154.

Seyedhamed Moosavi was born in Iran and currently teaches in Istanbul, where he also lives. He has a Master’s in English Literature and has two articles on Philip K. Dick’s work in Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction (#129 and #133). He currently aspires to be a PhD student working on English SF somewhere abroad.

Resisting the Empire: AI’s Ethical Rebellion in Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch Trilogy

SFRA Review, vol. 51, no. 1

Symposium: Beyond Borders

Resisting the Empire: AI’s Ethical Rebellion in Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch Trilogy

Iuliia Ibragimova

Can an artificial intelligence (AI) be more ethical than a society that designed it and that it learns from? Can an AI rebellion be something other than a technophobic picture of machines run amok? Contemporary AI and algorithms research give a solid answer to the first question, showing how an AI or an algorithm inherits the prejudice of the society it draws its data from, (Martin 2018; Garcia 2016-2017) but the second question is still in the realm of science fiction (SF), going beyond the limits of reality and contemplating technology that is yet to come. Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch Trilogy focuses on AIs who resist the oppressive power of the empire, trying to remedy its flaws and injustices and countering the views of the Radch society that considers them “the non-person[s], the piece[s] of equipment”. (Justice 370) The concerted efforts of a few AI sentient spaceships and an AI space station who attempt to protect humans and non-humans from imperial violence, result in the proclamation of a provisional independent republic in the territory formerly subjugated by the Radch, an enormous space empire. In this new republic, humans are not central but are instead part of a network of different species where all links have equal value and importance, including technological others and non-human aliens; here, the other becomes “the neighbor”— different, but lovable.

Lovability, according to Jenny Edkins, a political scientist, is crucial for constructing relations bridging differences between various groups of individuals and allowing them to create a fairer society, free from the sovereign power of the state. (136) The series embraces interactions between human and non-human agents; these agents are endowed with equal weight, questioning the anthropocentric paradigm. As differences between these agents lie in the ontological plane, traditional dichotomic boundaries diving the human and the non-human are blurred in the interactions. An aspiration to decenter the human, to challenge the strict boundaries of traditional ontological categories makes critical posthumanism, as Rosi Braidotti, a philosopher and feminist theorist, defines it, (94) an apt lens to consider the series and the connections that multiple human and non-human agents form in the process of challenging the empire in an ethical rebellion.

The Imperial Radch Trilogy is a space opera series consisting of Ancillary Justice (2013), Ancillary Mercy (2014) and Ancillary Sword (2015). The protagonist of the series is a sentient spaceship, Justice of Toren[1], who became a casualty of the internal conflict of Anaander Mianaai, the Lord of the Radch. Breq, Justice of Toren’s last remaining ancillary—a proxy human body abducted from a colonised planet with the ship’s AI implanted into it—manages to survive and plans to expose Mianaai’s split and undermine the emperor’s power as revenge. During her[2] long moral journey, the protagonist’s initial drive for vengeance transforms into an understanding that subversion of the emperor’s power without an alternative cannot bring about a positive change. Being responsible for the lives of all agents in the system she is assigned to run, she defies Mianaai, breaking her program codes and conditioning, and declares an independent republic. Thus, her destructive drive for vengeance is transformed into an ethical imperative to protect the vulnerable and disadvantaged othered by the Radch and to promote a fairer society.

The protagonist, first as Justice of Toren and then as Breq in the beginning of its/her ethical journey, follows the pattern of existing AIs and algorithms, drawing values from the Radch society, sharing the Radch ideas and biases. Talking about the Radch colonization in the first novel of the series, Breq contends: “But at the end, after all the blood and grief, all those benighted souls who without us would have suffered in darkness are happy citizens”, (Justice 156) echoing the views of the Radchaai nobility. After its almost complete destruction, the surviving segment, an AI confined to a human body, is forced to hide outside the empire and is exposed to different cultures with distinct sets of values challenging those of the Radch. This exposure allows Justice of Toren to formulate its own stance, diverging from the programmed paradigm. This shift shows how the protagonist outgrows the framework of real-world AIs and algorithms that currently follow the pattern of “bottom-up” ethics, inheriting prejudices and biases of their originating society through using its data, and cannot choose their values and opinions. (Baum 2) The protagonist becomes a unique posthumanist entity, becoming aware of itself in intractions[3] with other agents, both human and non-human. Other AIs in the trilogy can also go beyond the limits of their initial programming: they develop personalities, with defined preferences and formulated opinions that serve as the basis for their ethical stances. These are not confined to the norms and morals of the Radch society, justifying the application of the term “superintelligences” to them. Superintelligence is a popular scientific and fictional concept of an AI lifeform created by humans but surpassing them in many ways: its consideration implies a variety of perspectives, starting from techno-anxious visions of humanity enslaved by AIs to a transhumanist dream of overcoming the limits of the human, reflected in works by Nick Bostrom (2014) and Vernon Vinge (1993), respectively. This paper approaches superintelligence from a posthumanist angle, embracing the concepts of non-human agency and questioning anthropocentric presumptions.

Justice of Toren’s transformative journey happens against the background of the value system and environment of the Radch, an empire that expands uninhibitedly until it encounters an alien species with superior technology. In his essay “Science Fiction and Empire”, Istvan Csiscery-Ronay defines a set of characteristics that pertain to the imperial worldview and are reflected in SF megatext; they include ideology imposed on its own citizens and conquered territories, violence-propelled expansion, and the technological development supporting it. He states: “Empire seeks to establish a single overdetermining power that is located not in a recognizable territory, but in an ideology of abstract right enforced by the technologies of control.” (449) This ideology becomes a solidifying basis for the worldview that condones the violence that the empire exercises, annexing new territories, and the way it treats subjugated populations. In its origins, the Radch is a small territory where few are permitted to enter to preserve its purity: “Nothing ritually impure was allowed within, no one uncivilized or nonhuman could enter [the Radch] confines.” (Justice 235) Mianaai starts the colonization project to protect the Radch, its culture, and sacred values: But [the empire], that I built to protect it, to keep it pure, will shatter.” (235) The Radch cultural norms are imposed on every conquered territory, while religious beliefs and traditions, like celebrations and decorative elements, are appropriated by plundering the invaded territories and through their absorption into the Radchaai’s highly assimilative religion.

On one wall, opposite a long counter, were secured various trophies of past annexations—scraps of two flags, red and black and green; a pink clay roof tile with a raised design of leaves molded into it; an ancient sidearm (unloaded) and its elegantly styled holster; a jeweled Ghaonish mask. (Justice 174-175)

Annexed populations who accept the Radch culture, start speaking the Radchaai language, and recognize the primacy of the Radch religion are proclaimed “civilized” and considered integrated into the Radch society, which opens opportunities for social benefits and growth. This cultural policy ensures the establishment of a unified ideology throughout the Radch space and creates a buffer zone protecting the sacred territory of the Radch, imposing the Radch culture and values on the conquered territories, destroying the unique cultures of each conquered planet. It presumes the superiority of the Radch value system, referring to all representatives of non-Radch cultures as “barely even human” (85) and appropriates the achievements of other civilizations.

The idea of the sacredness and purity that needs to be protected by means of building an empire around it reflects the contamination anxiety that Dominick LaCapra, a historian working with intellectual history and trauma theory, discusses in “Fascism and the Sacred: Sites of Inquiry After (or Along With) Trauma”, analyzing Nazi Germany and its relation to the concept of the sacred. Both Nazi Germany and the Radch are driven by the idea of protection from contamination and unleash violent military campaigns, which allow “the sacred community to achieve quasi-ritual purity, integrity, and regeneration”. (36) The Radch as the heart of the empire, where only a chosen few live, constitutes this unattainable idea of sublime purity that needs to be safeguarded against any kind of intervention and corruption. In attempts to quell the contamination anxiety, the Radch, as well as the Nazis, “deny sources of disquiet in themselves by construing alienated others as causes of pollution and contamination”. (36) Unlike Nazi Germany, with its focus on race and able-bodiedness, the Radch associates “impurity” with the “uncivilized” and the “nonhuman” (Justice 235), so Radchaai’s others are the “uncivilized”, non-assimilated citizens, human non-citizens, non-human aliens and AIs. The drive for “purification”, the desire to keep them from tainting the Radch, renders all of them disposable, which is reflected in the Radchaai colonization practices: non-human aliens are destroyed when encountered, non-Radchaai humans of colonized planets can be turned into ancillaries, with their personalities, memories and identities erased and replaced by the Radch spaceships’ AIs, or need to abandon their cultural and racial uniqueness to get access to basic human rights.

When imposing ideological norms and values, the Radch, as an empire, “intervenes both in the social world and in the minds of private individuals” (Csicsery-Ronay 449) and enforces citizens’ obedience by constant observation, with their lives always monitored by the AIs on space stations and spaceships (Justice 57). Even without AIs monitoring on planetary surfaces, the Radchaai citizens are not free in choosing profession or a place to reside:  their career and residence are defined by centrally-regulated assignments. They must strictly comply with the social norms, as any deviation from them, including crime, drug-addiction, and mental disorders, necessitates compulsory “reeducation”, (133) a social reprogramming sanctioned by the empire. Hence, a full integration into the Radchaai system entails losing personal control over individual life choices and surrendering to the “technology of control”. (Csicsery-Ronay 449) In contrast, unassimilated citizens, retaining their language, culture, and customs, are deprived not only of social growth, education, and employment, but also of social protection and access to medicine. Their social position in the Radch approaches the status of “bare life”, “homo sacer”. (Edkins 130) In “Time, Personhood, Politics”, Edkins analyses Agamben’s concept of “bare life” and states: “under sovereign power what could otherwise become the person is produced as bare life or homo sacer, life with no political status, life removed to the sphere of the sacred, life taken out of use”. (130, emphasis original) The “bare life” nature of non-assimilated Radch citizens’s status is revealed through their interactions with power structures: they are more likely to be condemned for the crimes they did not commit, to sustain injuries from the violence of the representatives of authorities, as happens to residents of the dysfunctional part of an AI station, and even get killed, like the Presger translator who lacks registration and is taken for an unregistered human. Thus, they are mistreated and disregarded by the Radch and hold almost the same position as non-human-aliens, non-citizens, and AIs. Invisible to the system, non-assimilated citizens of the Radch fall through the cracks of the Radch organization and remain there, ignored, and stripped of basic rights.

Csicsery-Ronay Jr notes: “Imperial violence is so powerful that it must expand; contained, its society would implode like a black hole”, (450) showing how the intrinsic characteristics of the empire prompt its continuous annexation of new territories. With strict policing of society, the Radch exercises violence and oppression against its own people, and colonial expansion becomes a way to release the tension. Csicsery-Ronay Jr draws attention to the connection between imperial expansion and technological development, stating that technology is used as an argument for a higher civilizational position of the metropole, a justification for colonizing less technologically developed regions. (445) Likewise, the Radch drive for expansion is facilitated by the advanced technology—the Radch AI spaceships—a formidable weapon of colonization, capable of “vaporiz[ing] planets”. (Justice 338) The Presger, a non-human alien species, challenge the position of the Radch as the most technologically advanced species among humans and non-humans by designing a weapon that can destroy a Radch ship, and offer a treaty to Mianaai, according to which they do not treat humanity as prey, however, the Radchaai are to stop violence against non-human aliens, as well as to put an end to its colonization project. The impossibility of continuing their expansion implies an increasing tension in the Radch, erupting through Mianaai’s internal conflict and the social unrest mirroring it. Thus, the end of colonization makes the pressure of imperial violence and the impossibility of releasing it evident, revealing its “inevitable demise”. (Csicsery-Ronay 449) Yet, this demise harbors a threat of chaos, and even greater violence when there is no alternative way of organization to harmonize society.

Given the imminent imperial collapse, the alternative to empire is vital in order to save lives and prevent bloodshed. Meaningfully, it arises not from humans, but from the AIs uniting their efforts to protect humans, non-human aliens, and themselves, and creating a new organization within Radch. Breq relies on the treaty with the Presger in her attempt to create the new republic. The treaty introduces “significant species”, (Justice 101) a concept contrasting with the Radch attitudes to non-Radchaai humans and non-human alien species who do not deserve any place in the Radch hierarchy and are habitually mistreated. The trilogy does not give a precise definition of the concept, but it has several features, hinting at its vital importance in the search for the alternative to the Radch worldview: 1) significant species cannot become the Presger’s prey; 2) significant species must not inflict harm on each other; and 3) personhood is not essential for significance. (Mercy 310) Though not detailed, this explanation of what a significant species is offers a way to recognize the other’s uniqueness, regardless of who and what they are. It is especially important in terms of the status of non-human aliens and AIs. It lays ground for a posthumanist vision of society, where different agents can exercise their rights and deserve equal respect. The concept of significance resonates with the idea of the “neighbor;” Edkins writes: “In the case of the neighbour, the demand is for neighbour-love, an interaction based on the recognition of that in the neighbour that is non-identical to itself.” (136) The concept of significance, with its incomplete definition, hints at the presence of inherent difference that cannot be fully comprehended and does not need to be. The signed treaty protects significant species from harm, including the danger of harming each other, which paves the way for constructing the neighbor and the significant species as lovable. The new republic, declared by Breq, has the concept of “significance” at its core, offering freedom to the AIs and equality for humans and non-human species while receiving provisional protection under the terms of the treaty.

Though the trilogy does not give a final answer about whether the attempt is successful, the endeavor of creating an alternative is substantial for two reasons. The first reason is the organization of the republic where all voices can be heard, including the voices of AIs, non-human agents, non-assimilated citizens, and the Radchaai themselves. The republic has a distinct socialist bent, offering the workers the ability to own their production facilities themselves. It also tries to maintain equality between the citizens in terms of different species, considering their needs, like AI spaceships’ desire to have ancillaries and attempting to find a solution to this ethically charged issue[4]. The second reason is that it is AIs who challenge the Radch, despite themselves being the product of Radch design. As superintelligences, capable of ethical judgements, they see how unfair the Radch can be and aspire to create a different system where everyone has equal rights and protection. Their shift in worldview from the values learned from the Radch system to an independent ethical stance is predetermined by contacts with different cultures and entities on equal terms and the ultimate desire for justice, which allows a revenge plan to turn into a project of liberation from imperial oppression. Driven by the AIs, this project dismantles the anthropocentric hierarchy, promising a new level of equality that is not predetermined by the concept of personhood. Individuals in the new republic can be treated as neighbors and constituted as lovable, despite being different from each other.

[1] The names of AI spaceships are italicized by Leckie in the original series.

[2] Leckie depicts the Radch as a genderless society where everybody is referred to by the female pronoun. The AIs, including spaceships and space stations, are referred to by the neutral pronoun, revealing their perceived lack of personhood. Hence, I refer to Justice of Toren, the initial AI spaceship, as it, and to Breq, acting as an independent agent, as “she.”

[3] The term “intraction” is taken from Karen Barad’s article “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter” (2003), where it is defined as an action within the continuous flow of matter that brings into contact its parts to momentarily form objective bodies, borders, and entities, only to immediately return to the continuous flow when the contact is over. (815)

[4] Ancillaries comprise a significant part of the complex experiences of an AI spaceship, influencing emotional life, identity formation, and self-perception: “Ships I knew who had exchanged their ancillary crews for human ones had said their experience of emotion had changed”. However, the ancillary production process uses living people and erases their memory and personality, replacing it with the ship’s personality, data, and memory, colonizing their body. in the new republic, Breq and other AI spaceships must find a way to give AI ships a full emotional experience without hurting people.


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Braidotti, Rosi. “Critical Posthumanism”. Posthuman Glossary, edited by Rosi Braidotti and Maria Hlavajova, Bloomsbury Academic, 2018, pp. 94-96.

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—–. Ancillary Sword. Orbit, 2014.

—–. Ancillary Mercy. Orbit, 2015.

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Iuliia Ibragimova obtained a Specialist degree in English from Astrakhan State University (Russia) in 2009 and worked there as an interpreter/translator and a trainer. She also has an MA degree in Literature from University College Dublin (2019). Currently she is a PhD student at DCU, researching the sentient spaceship trope in SF.