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Archaeologists and anthropologists discover other civilizations; science fiction writers invent them. In this collection of her major essays, Marleen Barr argues that feminist science fiction writers contribute to postmodern literary cans with radical alternatives to mainstream patriarchal society. Because feminist science fiction challenges male-centered social imperatives, it has been marginalized and dismissed from the can--thus, lost in space. Moving beyond feminist science fiction itself, Barr goes on to examine other literary genres from the perspective of 'feminist fabulation'--a term she has coined to encompass science fiction, fantasy, utopian literature, and mainstream literature that critiques patriarchal fictions. Discussing the works of such writers as Margaret Atwood, Joanna Russ, Salman Rushdie, Paul Theroux, Ursula Le Guin, Herman Melville, Saul Bellow, Edgar Allan Poe, and Marge Piercy, Barr illuminates feminist science fiction's connections to other literary traditions and contemporary cans. Her critical analysis yields a new and expanded understanding of feminist creativity.
Marleen S. Barr, associate professor of English at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, is author of Alien to Femininity: Speculative Fiction and Feminist Theory and Feminist Fabulation: Space/Postmodern Fiction.