Paradoxa

Paradoxa publishes articles on genre literature: science fiction, horror, mysteries, children's literature, romance, comic studies, the fantastic, best sellers, the occult, westerns, oral literature, and more.

Welcome to Paradoxa

Paradoxa publishes articles on genre literature: science fiction, horror, mysteries, children's literature, romance, comic studies, the fantastic, best sellers, the occult, westerns, oral literature, and more. Paradoxa invites submissions on all aspects of genre literature which make a significant and original contribution to the study of those genres.

Current Issue

Publisher’s note: We regret that the “first” edition of The Futures Industry inadvertently omitted an important article. A “second” edition is being prepared which will include this article. The corrected Table of Contents is available in the link below. The second edition will be mailed to all subscribers by the end of February, 2016.

Paradoxa, Volume 27, The Futures Industry.

“The contributors to this special issue of Paradoxa bring a rich range of views to the relationship between science fiction, capitalist realism and the political economy of future-building in our times. Resisting both naive optimism and default pessimism, the authors open up a terrain of critical futurism which offers a genuine alternative to the relentless co-optation of hope by capital.” –Arjun Appadurai, Paulette Goddard Professor Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University. Author of Banking on Words: The Failure of Language in the Age of Derivative Finance, (2015), The Future as Cultural Fact (2012), Modernity atLarge: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization (1966).

“Sf is perhaps our best set of apparatuses for tracking late capitalism into its lairs and provoking the roars and rattles that tell of its always innovative, abstractionist, still colonizing masculinities and its exuberant extinctionist corporealities masquerading as the latest digital nano-cyber-interfaced-something-or-other. The war-besotted,technocapitalist futures industry actually works that way. Other sorts of still possible times-yet-to-come—those that ethnographer Anna Tsing might describe as timepieces for learning to nurture multi species resurgence in capitalist ruins—are also the heart and soul of sf. A long, satisfying read among the very smart essays of The Futures Industry made me appreciate once again how essential sf is to appreciating the life-and-death struggles among present futures. I wanted to shout, again and again, “We are not posthuman, we are compost!” Read this book for essential nourishment for the timely struggle for an ethics of possibility.” –Donna Haraway, Distinguished Professor Emerita, History of Consciousness Department, UC Santa Cruz. Author of Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (Duke University Press, Fall 2016), Manifestly Haraway (Minnesota University Press, Spring 2016), When Species Meet (Minnesota, 2008), and Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium (Rutledge, 1997).

“This may seem paradoxical, but after reading The Futures Industry, I have a clear, limpid conviction that the industry will die at the hands of the future.” —Bruce Sterling, author of The Difference Engine (1990), Zeitgeist (2000), Love is Strange (2012).

The Futures Industry makes very interesting and provocative reading. If Science Fiction can only reflect the futurities implicit in our present day, a truism we owe to Wm Gibson and many others, it’s not surprising that this collection of essays and reviews is also often a tough read. But if we are doomed to live in a Dystopian Police State, rife with pollution and corruption, at least we can think clearly about our predicament, with a little help from the experts trained by our genre. Some of the futures anatomised here are, arguably, already slipping into the past. Always intriguing, often controversial; skillfully curated and introduced, this is a state-of-the-genre journal issue not to be missed.” —Gwyneth Jones, author of Life: The Fictional Biography of a Female Scientist of Genius (2004) and Imagination/Space: Talk and Essays of Fiction, Feminism, Technology and Politics (2011).

Preview this issue

Call for Papers

Volume 28 Global Weirding

(anticipated publication date December, 2016)

Editors: Andy Hageman (hagean03@luther.edu) and Gerry Canavan (gerry.canavan@marquette.edu)

The editors of this special issue of Paradoxa on “Global Weirding” invite contributions that explore the aesthetic, political, ethical, and existential potentials that arise when weird ecological patterns or events converge with weird speculative literature. Jeff Vandermeer’s acclaimed 2014 Southern Reach Trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, Acceptance) cracked open the space for thinking the weird and the ecological together—for experimenting with radical new ways of representing massive and mind-bending things like global warming, geological time, the Anthropocene, the life and afterlife of infrastructures, and so on. This issue invites further analyses of this eco-literary link we’re calling “Global Weirding” which mirrors the term proposed by some climate scientists to register that global warming does not simply mean higher temperatures but a global planetary ecology transformed in radical and sometimes highly unexpected ways.

Essays might range through the strange catalog of weird fiction to illuminate those elements that offer alternative perspectives on and/or representations of ecological ethics, thought, aesthetics. China Miéville’s Bas-Lag, for example, offers a trove of beautiful-awful engagements with environmental catastrophes and interspecies struggles to exist and coexist. Or, amidst this H.P. Lovecraft resurgence, through new criticism and literary grapplings with his racism, it is time to return to the mountains of madness to see what Cthulhu and Lovecraft’s geology and geologists in those stories can offer to the still-forming concept of the Anthropocene. The editors are eager to consider submissions that deal with concepts originating from across the fantasy, horror, New Weird, and speculative and science fiction genres, in prose, art, film, and television, comic, video game, or other media forms.

An additional note on contributions: we welcome contributions that focus on indigenous and non-Western speculative fictions. We recognize that these texts may deploy myths, narratives, and cognitive frames that are not in themselves “weird,” but might be characterized as such by Eurocentric ways of thinking—and we encourage authors to consider using this issue as a forum for working through the dynamics of genres moving amongst cultures, as well as for excavating the fundamental “weirdness” of Western and post-Enlightenment habits of thought.

Proposals and/or inquiries should be directed to Andy Hageman (hagean03@luther.edu) and Gerry Canavan (gerry.canavan@marquette.edu). We are happy to consider not only traditional academic essays of approximately 7000-10000 words but also shorter essays (3000-7000), interviews, and other nontraditional projects.

Proposals are due April 15, 2016. Invited contributors will be notified by May 15, and the full submission is due in July 2016. This issue is slated for a December 2016 publication date, following peer review, so prompt completion of the submission and subsequent response to editorial feedback is imperative.

Issues in Preparation

Volume 29 Small Screen Fiction

Call for Papers (anticipated publication date: December, 2017)

Editors: Astrid Ensslin (University of Alberta, Canada); Paweł Frelik (Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin, Poland); Lisa Swanstrom (Florida-Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA)

In the last few decades, digital technologies have dramatically reconfigured not only the circumstances of media production and dissemination, but also many of their cultural forms and conventions, including the roles of users, producers, authors, audiences, and readers. Arguably the most spectacular of these digital transformations have affected the large screens of cinema multiplexes and the increasingly large screens of home televisions, but other narrative forms have emerged on a smaller screens as well.
Today, with growing frequency, narratives are experienced on the smaller screens of laptops, tablets, and even mobile phones. These narratives often involve direct reader/viewer/player interaction, enabling highly idiosyncratic, individualized and unique narrative experiences. Some of these fictions are merely digitized or wikified versions of texts previously available in the codex form—their digital conversion affects some of the ways in which readers engage with them, but the basic structures of these narratives remain unchanged. Some others, however, have been written and designed (these two words often blur) specifically for these small screens. Their functionalities and affordances are not replicable in any other medial form, nor do they demonstrate an allegiance to any single pre-existing art form.
Paradoxa seeks articles for a special issue devoted to “Small Screen Fictions.” Both in-depth analyses of individual texts and more general, theoretical discussions are invited. The genres and media of interest include but are not limited to:

• DVD novels, such as Steve Tomasula’s TOC (2009);
• literary-narrative video games and ludic, gamelike fictions whose principal interest is in offering innovative storytelling experiences, such as Dear Esther (2012) and Device6 (2013);
• twitter and blog texts, such as Jennifer Egan’s “Black Box” (2012);
• collectively written, locative online texts, particularly those breaking narrative linearity, such as Hundekopf (2007), The LA Flood Project (2013) and The Silent History (2013);
• interactive graphic novels, such as Nam Le’s The Boat (2014);
• genre-bending, dialogic hybrids, such as Blast Theory’s Karen (2015);
• neo-hypertextual fictions enabled by user-friendly authoring software such as Twine;
• physically distributed narratives that make use of small screen spaces, not merely to create and display fictions, but also to navigate, negotiate, and interact with real-world spaces through geo-caching or other means, such as Ingress (2013), Cartegram (2014), and Call of the Wild (2015).

Similarly, possible approaches to such screen texts include but are not limited to:

• the changing cultural patterns and expectations of engagement with narrative;
• the reality and illusions of linearity and non-linearity;
• the shifting nature of public and private spectatorship;
• the role of touch and tactility, as well as other human senses in experiencing narratives;
• the blurring of the verbal and the visual, of fact and fiction, of reading and writing, of natural and artificial;
• the economic, social, and political contexts of authorship and readership of such texts;
• the implications of such narrative experiences for the meaning(s) and perceptions of fiction, genre and literature.

Abstracts of 500 words should be submitted by 15 August 2016 to the editors: Astrid Ensslin < ensslin@ualberta.ca>, Pawel Frelik < pawel.frelik@gmail.com> Lisa Swanstrom < swanstro@gmail.com>. Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by 30 September 2016. Full drafts (6,000 to 8,000 words) will be due by 31 December 2016.

Volume 30 Latin American Speculative Fiction

Call for Papers (anticipated publication date early 2018)

Editors: Debra Ann Castillo (debra.castillo@gmail.com) and Liliana Colanzi (lc566@cornell.edu)

Speculative fiction provides complex perspectives on the changes that technological advances produce in subject, societies, and cultures. It also provides novel perspectives from which to explore philosophical ideas, literary styles, and media formats. From Jorge Luis Borges, who remains central to discussions of philosophically-oriented speculative fiction, to such contemporary works as Martín Felipe Castagnet’s Los cuerpos del verano, Angélica Gorodischer’s Trafalgar: A Novel, Alberto Chimal’s La torre y el jardín, Rita Indiana’s La mucama de Omicunlé, Latin American writers have pushed the genre in innovative and intriguing directions.

This issue of Paradoxa will examine the role of speculative fiction in altering the debate over possible presents and futures in Latin America and the Latino/a United States. It will also explore how the digital era is reinventing the way we think about bodies and subjectivities.

We invite contributions that analyze the literary and graphic work that epitomizes speculative fiction in Latin America. Possible topics of interest include:

· tradition and rupture in Latin American speculative fiction;

· experiments in format, length, literary genres – the graphic novel, science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc;

· possible futures

· retrofuturism;

· imaginary times and alternative history;

· utopian and dystopian imagination;

· speculative landscapes: ecology, sustainability, ecological disasters, apocalyptic/postapocalyptic environments, extraterrestrial landscapes;

· possible bodies: disembodiment in the digital era, cyborgs, new technologies of care and childbearing, the body as landscape, monsters, extraterrestrials, posthumanism, the queer body;

· the digital subject: new forms of subjectivity and community in the internet, ethnicity in the digital era, cybernetic government;

· speculation and feminism;

· science and religion.

We invite proposals of up to 500 words for papers of 5000-9000 words. We also welcome proposals for micro-essays and creative contributions in non-standard formats, including image-based formats, graphic- and photo-essays. Proposals are due December 1, 2016 and contributors will be notified within 3 weeks if their abstract is accepted. Full papers will be due August 1, 2017; each paper will be subject to peer review before acceptance is final.