Fafnir Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research, Volume 1, Issue 2, pages 5-6.

Jyrki Korpua, Hanna-Riikka Roine & Päivi Väätänen

Editorial 2/2014


The second issue of Fafnir celebrates the multiversum of speculative fiction. It goes without saying that speculative fiction gathers various genres under its umbrella. This fact is well illustrated by the three articles published here, as they move from future histories of Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein to Ings’ rewriting of the mind and to the uncanny dragons in children’s fiction.

However, recognising the diversity of speculative fiction does not mean that Fafnir the dragon would just eat up random ingredients and digest them into a meaningless jumble. In all of its multifacetedness, a pattern emerges.

Jari Käkelä’s article “Managing and Manipulating History: Perpetual Urgency in Asimov and Heinlein”, discusses in an illustrative manner two important works by the central authors of golden age of science fiction: Isaac Asimov’s The Foundation series and Robert Heinlein’s The Man Who Sold the Moon. Käkelä sees that while both authors see history as a result of important actions by a few central characters, Asimov’s “heroes” are more passive, while Heinlein’s characters are more active and disposed towards creating the change themselves.

Kaisa Kortekallio, in her article “Intuitive Technologies: Models of Posthuman Subjectivity in Simon Ings’ Hot Head and Hotwire” focuses on the novels in order to examine how the texts appropriate and rewrite the idea of the mind as both material and computational. Kortekallio reads Ings’ novels in the context of the theoretical developments within cognitive science, theories of complex systems, and posthumanism.

In the third and last article, “‘Dragons Are Tricksy’: The Uncanny Dragons of Children’s Literature”, Emily Midkiff discusses the representation of dragons in children’s literature. She suggests that the figure of the dragon has a lot of uncanny potential to address issues linked to humanity and identity, also in the works aimed for young audiences.

In addition to the articles, Päivi Väätänen brings us the report of the 35th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA) held in Orlando, Florida. Väätänen praises ICFA for its friendly atmosphere and a program as diverse as the field of speculative fiction.

3/2014, will be out in September 2014. We are also happy to announce that the fourth issue of Fafnir is now open for submissions: research articles, overviews, essays, academic book reviews — you name it! See the call for papers at the end of this issue for details.

In his fantasy novel Phastastes (1858) George MacDonald wrote: “In good sooth, my masters, this is no door. Yet is it a little window, that looketh upon a great world.” In a sense, this quote captures the strength of the multiversum of speculative fiction. We hope you enjoy the view from the windows that the writers of this issue throw open!