I've just received contributor's copies of SciFi in the Mind's Eye: Reading Science through Science Fiction (Open Court, Fall 2007), which is on the expensive side but handsomely made. It includes work by two of this blog's contributors (Helen Merrick and me) plus other familiar names like Nicola Griffith, Nancy Kress, Terry Bisson, and Tess Williams. And it's got a blurb on the back by Gwyneth Jones:
"A fascinating collection of essays, where-for once!-modern science-fiction novels get the close analysis treatment, alongside the inevitable (but here fresh and interesting) studies of Star Trek politics and the Aliens franchise. Consistently entertaining and illuminating: I particularly liked Margret Grebowicz's introduction, and the investigation of exactly how cyberpunk's ideas and images influenced the development of real-world cyberspace."
The description on the back reads:
"What does our favorite science fiction tell us about the culture of science? What do stories of cyborg women and genetic engineering show us about how science and values interact and how science and politics affect each other? In SciFi in the Mind's Eye, leading scholars look at the way science fiction informs and inspires contemporary research in science and technology, and how scientific breakthroughs spur authors on to yet more creative science-fiction narratives.
"Alongside investigations into the meaning of science fiction, SciFi in the Mind's Eye gives us previously unpublished 'interventions' by acclaimed science-fiction authors L. Timmel Duchamp, Nicola Griffith, Nancy Kress, Terry Bisson, and Stanisław Lem."
So far I've only read the introduction. But here's the table of contents:
Introduction: Down to Earth—Margaret Grebowicz
3. It's in the Meat: Science, Fiction, and the Politics of Ignorance—Nancy McHugh
INTERVENTION 1 How To Do Things with Ideas—L. Timmel Duchamp
4. Pygmalion’s Legacy: Images of Cy
5. Tepper’s Republic: Feminist Separatism and the Question of Essence—Edrie Sobstyl
Identity and SF: Story as Science and Fiction—Nicola Griffith
10. After the End of the World: Critiques of Technology in Post-Apocalypse Literature—Andrew Pavelich
SF AS STS
12. Cracking the Code: Genomics in Documented Fantasies and Fantastic Documentaries—Marina Levina
13. Knowing, Being, and the Reality Police: Science Fiction as Science Studies—Dennis Desroches
AT THE LIMITS OF THE IMAGINATION
14. Cognitive Constraints on Imagining Other Worlds—E. Thomas Lawson
15. After the Space Age: Science, Fiction, and Possibility—Martin Parker
16. Learning from Ender’s Game: Childhood, Education, and War—Margaret Grebowicz