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Science Fiction Circuits of the South and East

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Edited By Anindita Banerjee and Sonja Fritzsche

The first collection of its kind, this anthology documents a radically different geography and history of science fiction in the world. Western, specifically Anglo-American, SF is not the only hub of the global trade of alternative realities and futures. Rather it is but only one of several competing flows and circuits of distribution, contacts, influence, translation, adaptation, and collaboration, across space and time. The essays collected here focus on arguably the biggest and most influential of those competing hubs: the socialist world and its extensive cultural networks across the global South and East. Written by scholars from around the world, the chapters address the «other» transatlantic of the Caribbean, Latin America, African America, and the Soviet Union; the surprising multitude of transnational networks behind the Iron Curtain; and asymptotic and subterranean discourses across Russia, India, and China. Science Fiction Circuits of the South and East is intended for scholars, students, and fans interested in science fiction, popular culture, comparative literature, film studies, postcolonialism, techno-science, translation studies, and the literature and cultures of China, Cuba, Germany, India, Mexico, Poland, and Russia.

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1 T/Racing Revolution between Red October and the Black Atlantic (Anindita Banerjee)

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ANINDITA BANERJEE

1 T/Racing Revolution between Red October and the Black Atlantic1

Science fiction is generically concerned with the interpenetration of boundaries between problematic selves and unexpected others, and with the exploration of possible worlds in a context structured by transnational technoscience. (70)

— DONNA HARAWAY, “The Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Inappropriate/d Others”

Wrong again. Again I’m talking to you, my unknown reader, as though you were … well, say, as though you were my old friend R-13, the poet, the one with the African lips – everyone knows him. You, meanwhile, you might be anywhere … on the moon, on Venus, on Mars, on Mercury. Who knows you, where you are and what you are? (21; 224)2

— EVGENY ZAMYATIN, We

Evgeny Zamyatin’s We, written four years after the October Revolution but set in the far future of the thirtieth century, remained unknown to the author’s contemporaneous audiences in Russia. The novel was first published in English translation in 1924 across the Atlantic by the New ← 23 | 24 → York firm, Dutton. Even though versions of the Russian text circulated intermittently in the émigré and samizdat press in subsequent decades, it was not until the late 1980s that the first authorized editions of the novel made their appearance in the original language. Like the projected audience of aliens whom Zamyatin’s fictional protagonist addresses in the second epigraph of this essay, geographically and historically distant “unknown readers...

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