Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research, Volume 10, Issue 1, pages 5–6.
Elizabeth Oakes, Merve Tabur, Essi Varis & Jari Käkelä
Welcome to Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research’s first edition of 2023. We would like to thank Joy Sanchez-Taylor for opening the issue with her thought-provoking prefatory, “What Can Double Estrangement Reveal about Speculative Fiction?”. In this short essay, Sanchez-Taylor demonstrates how racial and/or ethnic self-consciousness adds layers of estrangement to such non-Eurocentric works of speculative fiction as R. F. Kuang’s Babel (2022) or Ma Ling’s Severance (2018). Post-colonial themes and marginalized perspectives are also front and center in the only research article that survived the grueling peer-review round for this issue: in “The Critique of Colonial Cartography in N. K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms,” Peter Melville extends Stefan Ekman’s theories of fantasy maps and argues that the omission of maps from The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (2010) is one of the ways in which N. K. Jemisin defies the colonial gaze inherent in cartography.
In addition, our new reviews editor, Jari Käkelä, has collected five fascinating book reviews for you to enjoy, many of which also happen to revolve around various marginalized perspectives on speculative genres. C. Palmer-Patel continues the post-colonial discussion by reviewing David M. Higgins’s Reverse Colonization: Science Fiction, Imperial Fantasy, and Alt-Victimhood; Hogan D. Schaak introduces yet another angle with his review of Miriam C. Brown Spiers’s Encountering The Sovereign Other: Indigenous Science Fiction; and Eero Suoranta also adds his review of Hua Li’s Chinese Science Fiction during the Post-Mao Cultural Thaw to this non-Eurocentric choir. By contrast, Noah Slowik’s review of Sarah Annes Brown’s Shakespeare and Science Fiction looks back on one of the giants of the Anglocentric canon, but from the viewpoint of SF, which could still be construed as a somewhat marginalized stance in the field of literary studies. Finally, Gemma Field’s review of Fantasy and Myth in the Anthropocene: Imagining Futures and Dreaming Hope in Literature and Media, edited by Marek Oziewicz, Brian Attebery, and Tereza Dedinová, foregrounds one of the most global and fundamental power struggles of all – that between humans and nonhuman nature.
Our long-serving co-editor-in-chief, Laura E. Goodin has set the coordinates of her hyperdrive for new missions in distant galaxies, and in her place, we welcome our colleague Merve Tabur from Utrecht University. In the now-traditional “Hail and Farewell” interview, they discuss their memories of and expectations for their editorial journeys, the aspects of Fafnir they most want to foster, and their love for speculative fiction. If you are thinking of submitting or editing for Fafnir one day, tune in for their tips!
The issue concludes with Leena Vuolteenaho’s Finnish language lectio praecursoria “Loputtomuuden hinta: Doctor Who, etiikka ja ihmisyyden rajat,” which views Doctor Who’s depictions of immortality through the lens of Buddhist and Christian ethics. Vuolteenaho notes that we cannot draw a clear line between the realistic pursuit of prolonged lifespan and the (as-of-yet) speculative pursuit of immortality. Therefore, speculative works like Doctor Who can function as helpful thought experiments, which allow us to consider what kind of ethical troubles the extension of human lifespan can entail now or could entail in the future as medical science keeps pushing the boundaries of what it means to be human.
While the call for papers to our next issue, 2/2023, is coming to a close at the end of June, we continue to welcome submissions for our next open issue, 1/2024. Submission guidelines can be found at http://journal.finfar.org/for-authors/submission-guidelines/. Please note that we are also seeking a new editor-in-chief with Finnish language proficiency. The three-year position is open from the beginning of 2024, and you can find more details on the application process here: http://journal.finfar.org/fafnir-etsii-uutta-paatoimittajaa/.
We hope the critical engagements, analyses, and considerations of our contributors provide you with food for thought whether you are enjoying the long days of northern summer or a cozy southern winter. As always, we at Fafnir hope this issue finds you well and inspires your research in the wide, wonderful field of speculative fiction!
Essi Varis, Elizabeth Oakes, and Merve Tabur, Editors-in-Chief
Jari Käkelä, Reviews Editor
Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research