Black and Brown Planets: The Politics of Race in Science Fiction

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Black and Brown Planets: The Politics of Race in Science Fiction. Isaiah Lavender III, editor. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2014.

Reviewed by Jessica E. Birch, SFRA Review #315 (Winter 2016): pp. 19-20.[1] Most relevant here:

The essays in the second section of the book were the biggest draw for me [...]. These hopes were fulfilled by Lysa M. Rivera’s examination of Chicano/a cyberpunk and Matthew Goodwin’s discussion of how virtual reality recreates borderlands to make migration virtual; Rivera and Goodwin draw upon postcolonial theory to explore SF’s potential for a kind of oppositional colonization. Although these essays make complex arguments, the authors lay out their theoretical grounding clearly, making these more accessible than some others in the collection; this is particularly true for Rivera, who connects her discussion of Chicano/a cyberpunk to mainstream [white]* cyberpunk, which helps to provide an entry point for those familiar with the most widely-discussed cyberpunk texts. As noted above, Kurtz’s analysis of the postcolonial ethnic and racial complications in The Windup Girl is a thoughtful, compellingly written essay on “techno-Orientalism” that illustrates the complexities of ethnicity, nationality, and humanity in Southeast Asia [...]. (p. 19).


  • The "white" interpolation is by Birch.

RDE, finishing, 17Aug21