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Interview with Alison Sperling - Part 5

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Coming up...

What are your current projects and future plans concerning Science Fiction?


I’m working on a number of SF-related projects at the moment. I’m about to wrap up a few book chapters, one on ecology across the Star Trek television series, and a short piece for a project called Uneven Futures about Margaret Atwood’s pigoons from The Maddaddam Trilogy alongside the factory farming industry in the United States in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’m eagerly awaiting the artist Emilija Škarnulytė’s first monograph to come out any day now with Sternberg Press here in Berlin -- I have a more experimental piece in there about her work which somehow brings together mermaids and abandoned nuclear submarine channels and the Anthropocene, so that will be fun to see in print.

But really I’m working on finishing my first book manuscript Weird Modernisms as soon as possible, to try to get my second book project on toxic natures fully underway. Both projects rely heavily on SF. Weird Modernisms deals with Lovecraft and theorizing weirdness, and even though the primary authors of the chapters in the manuscript are not SF writers, the conclusion is about Caitlín R. Kiernan who is one of my favorite weird writers to read. I’ll also be writing about N.K. Jemisin’s newest novel The City we Became which is a direct critique of (and yet still an engagement with) the Weird in what some are calling a Black New Weird (see Stephanie Dunning’s recent essay on Black Time and the Weird, or Steven Shaviro’s recent talk up on Youtube on Black New Weird texts for examples of this kind of critical engagement).

The second project deals with “weird natures” and so it is all about SF and also SF visual and performance art. Lastly, I would hint at an event I’ve been curating for sometime now, and with various disruptions and difficulties due to the pandemic. But it will take place September 23-24th with the support of the University of Oslo and University of Warsaw as well as my own university, TU Berlin, and the ICI Institute for Cultural Inquiry Berlin. The event will bring together ten artists and thinkers for a series of events over two days. It’s called “Writing Letters to Extraterrestrials” (inspired by the work of Adriana Knouf, check out her recent essay in the “Weird Temporalities” issue of Studies in the Fantastic), so stay tuned for that as soon as in-person events are able to happen safely again.

Thank you Alison for this interview!



Kommentar von Anja |

I really wish for Lois McMaster Bujold to be listed when it comes to feminist scifi. The Vorkosigan saga managed to hide quite a few issues in that space opera. Feminism, gender fluidity, ablism, ... somehow I feel her work is underrated in that regard.

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