Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Aqueduct Gazette: the Spring 2010 issue

The online edition of the Spring 2010 Aqueduct Gazette is now available as a PDF download here. In this issue,

*Nisi Shawl, in "Written on the Water," considers how differently she now reads the books that were a big influence on her life. She notes
Rereading is always, to me, rewriting. As I reread the texts I love, those that are dear to me, their words spill away from me into new meanings, filling up the fresh impressions I have left on the world by making my way through it. The hollow places and questions and emptinesses I have come upon in my continuing explorations open to receive thoughts that were always waiting to occur.
*Issue editor Paige Clifton-Steele interviews Helen Merrick, asking her questions such as "In the beginning of your book [The Secret Feminist Cabal], you immediately identify yourself as a fan among fans. Do you think it's important that works like this should be written by people who claim that title?" and "Donna Haraway cautions against viewing the cyborg as a product of technophilia, specifically, 'for example, those who relegate the cyborg to an odd, attenuated kind of technophilic euphoria.' But I think a lot of people come to sf in childhood, and embrace it prior to any understanding, out of something that looks a lot like a technophilic ("gee-whiz!") impulse. Is there some contradiction buried here? Can that impulse be trusted to serve greater purposes sometimes?" She also asks Helen to talk about her experience as a Tiptree juror.

*Paige Clifton-Steele, in "Henrietta's Afterlife: Octavia Butler and the HeLa Cell Culture," reads Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis Cycle by way of the case of Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman from whose cervical cancer cells originated the first immortal cell tissue line, HeLa:
Long after her death, her extracted cancer cells continued to divide. They are still dividing in hundreds of labs all over the world. Henrietta Lacks became, in death, "the first immortal human cells ever grown in a laboratory."

Those cells, in turn, were reproduced on a massive scale during the search for a polio vaccine, and have since figured in the development of treatments for countless diseases and the answers to other scientific questions. However, white doctors took the cells from Lacks without her knowledge, and her children have had no say in how they were used....

....Lacks' son consented to an autopsy based on the suggestion that any results might medically benefit her descendants. Since then the world over has seen the benefit of HeLa; she has a wealth of spiritual descendants. It's her real descendants for whom the benefits have been scarce. Most of them live without health insurance. None of them have ever been included in the profits that are made off of HeLa cells....
*And of course the issue offers plenty of news about Aqueduct Press books, current and forthcoming.

No comments: