Lost in SpaceBy Marleen S. Barr
Archaeologists and anthropologists discover other civilizations; science fiction writers invent them. In this collection of her major essays, Marleen Barr argues that feminist science fiction writers contribute to postmodern literary canons with radical alternatives to mainstream patriarchal society. Because feminist science fiction challenges male-centered social imperatives, it has been marginalized and dismissed from the canon--thus, lost in space. Moving beyond feminist science fiction itself, Barr goes on to examine other literary genres from the perspective of 'feminist fabulation'--a term she has coined to encompass science fiction, fantasy, utopian literature, and mainstream literature that critiques patriarchal fictions. Discussing the works of such writers as Margaret Atwood, Joanna Russ, Salman Rushdie, Paul Theroux, Ursula Le Guin, Herman Melville, Saul Bellow, Edgar Allan Poe, and Marge Piercy, Barr illuminates feminist science fiction's connections to other literary traditions and contemporary canons. Her critical analysis yields a new and expanded understanding of feminist creativity.