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

Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, Esko Suoranta, Laura E. Goodin, & Dennis Wilson Wise

Editorial 1/2019


Welcome to this abundant issue of Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research. We open with Adam Roberts’s eloquent musings on the poetic and metaphoric nature of science fiction; his reflections provide a context for the articles that follow, all of which have, in some sense, to do with how works of speculative fiction create meaning within and beneath the words of the stories themselves.

This issue’s articles begin with Christopher Bundrick’s “’All we know is here we are’: Gothic Aspects of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles” and Kristin Bidoshi’s “’The Mindworm’: C. M. Kornbluth’s Post-War American Vampire Tale at the Dawn of the Atomic Age”; both examine some of the ways these classic works from science fiction’s Golden Age express the deeper anxieties of the Cold War era.

Petra Visnyei’s “Japanese Apocalyptic Dystopia and the Role of Steampunk in Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle” and Roger Andre Søraa’s “Post-Gendered Bodies and Relational Gender in Knights of Sidonia” explore the use of aesthetics and assumptions about gender, respectively, to provide subtext and nuance to animated stories.

Matt Reingold’s “Golems in the New World” looks at examples of the transplanting of the Golem myth into new eras and new locations, and its expression in graphic form, as a way of introducing new correlations with current-day social issues, including both anti-Semitism and racism.  Similarly, Josué Morales Domínguez’s “A Tale of Two Red Hooks: LaValle’s Rewriting of Lovecraft’s ‘The Horror at Red Hook’ in The Ballad of Black Tom” analyses LaValle’s use of the plot and themes of Lovecraft’s original story to critique its (and its author’s) racism. Katariina Kärkelä’s “Enlightening the Cave: Gollum’s Cave as a Threshold between Worlds in J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Riddles in the Dark’” examines Tolkien’s use of the cave, both metaphorically and literally, through the lens of Plato’s Analogy of the Cave and Allegory of the Sun.

Michael Godhe uses a somewhat more personal approach in his reflection on the popular Norwegian children’s novel Jens krysser himmelrommet (Jens Crosses Space), published in 1954, as an atypically complex work that presents, under the guise of a simplistic space opera, subtle depths of genuine moral struggle.

Stefan Ekman’s essay “Vitruvius, Critics, and the Architecture of Worlds: Extra-narratival Material and Critical World-Building” considers the power of elements such as artefacts of a fictional culture or the rule books for role-playing games, which do not in themselves convey narrative, to nevertheless impart richness to a story through implication, association, and resonance.

Next are reports from two conferences: the Legacies of Ursula LeGuin, which was held in Paris in June, and the 40th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, which was held in Orlando in March.

Finally, we present an eclectic collection of book reviews:  Paul Williams’s review of Audrey Isabel Taylor’s Patricia A. McKillip and the Art of Fantasy World-Building; T.S. Miller’s review of Dale Knickerbocker’s Lingua Cosmica: Science Fiction from Around the World, Samantha Kirby’s review of J.P. Telotte’s Animating the Science Fiction Imagination, and Fafnir co-editor Laura E. Goodin’s review of Economic Science Fictions, edited by William Davies.

While submissions to our next issue, which will focus on climate fiction, are now closed, we are very pleased to receive submissions for consideration for our next open issue; submission guidelines can be found at http://journal.finfar.org/for-authors/submission-guidelines/

As ever, we hope this issue intrigues and informs you, and inspires your own research journeys.

Live long and prosper!
Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, Esko Suoranta, and Laura E. Goodin, Editors-in-chief
Dennis Wise, Reviews Editor
Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research