It's easy to make a list of queer sf. Of course, there'll be some variation, depending on how the list-maker defines both 'queer' and 'sf'.... Erm, that is, so long as we're talking about novels and short stories. What about film, though?
Is sf cinema behind the times, off in another universe, or so heteronormative (sorry, I mean that it's stuck thinking about things only from the perspective of a very cliched version of heterosexuality) as to be almost impervious to queer readings?
Not that there aren't some exceptions. Jackie Stacey has a great article on queer kinship in Gattaca, Roz Kaveney reads Independence Day's main theme as anxiety about male bonding leading to homosexual panic, Vivian Sobchak has done some work on the creepy representation of sexuality in AI, Mark Bould and Greg Tuck have looked at sexuality in Japanese sf films. The fact that I can list individual pieces of criticism off the top of my head is an indication of its dearth. SF cinema just doesn't seem very queer, so most of the critical options revolve, one way or another, around unpacking the heterosexism and/or homophobia and/or gender normativity (women must be girls and men must be manly), which while useful can get a bit tedious after a while.
So, here's a question. If you had to write about sf film from a queer perspective (any sort of queer perspective) what would you pick and where would your critical stance take you?
Larissa on Quill & Quire cover in November
2 weeks ago