C4P: Cheryl Morgan-Robot Love is Queer



Luna's fourth Call for Papers, Ties That Bind: Love in Fantasy and Science Fiction will be released on Saturday the 1st of August. Here is a chance to discover the 11 brilliant papers you will find in the book.

Today, we would like to introduce you to Cheryl Morgan (Wales) SF critic and publisher, owner of Wizard’s Tower Press and Hugo Award winner. Researcher.

“Robot Love is Queer”


Cheryl says:

In an interview for The Guardian, Ian McEwan suggested that his latest novel, Machines Like Me, would be innovative in treating the issue of relationships between humans and robots, because most science fiction is about “travelling at 10 times the speed of light in anti-gravity boots”. While McEwan has since been at pains to point out that he doesn’t hate science fiction, and has even read some of it, his knowledge of the genre still seems lacking. Romantic liaisons between humans and artificial beings can be traced back at least as far as the ancient Greek story of the Pandora, who was created by the Smith God Hēphaistos specifically to seduce mortal men.

There is so much robot love in the history of science fiction that any attempt to examine it in a mere essay would end up more like a catalogue of stories. For this essay, therefore, I propose to concentrate on how science fiction writers use human-robot relations as a means of talking about forbidden love, and in particular diverse sexualities. Loving a robot is loving The Other.

Abstract:

In an interview for The Guardian, Ian McEwan suggested that his latest novel, Machines Like Me, would be innovative in treating the issue of relationships between humans and robots, because most science fiction is about “travelling at 10 times the speed of light in anti-gravity boots”. While McEwan has since been at pains to point out that he doesn’t hate science fiction, and has even read some of it, his knowledge of the genre still seems lacking. Romantic liaisons between humans and artificial beings can be traced back at least as far as the ancient Greek story of the Pandora, who was created by the Smith God Hēphaistos specifically to seduce mortal men.

There is so much robot love in the history of science fiction that any attempt to examine it in a mere essay would end up more like a catalogue of stories. For this essay, therefore, I propose to concentrate on how science fiction writers use human-robot relations as a means of talking about forbidden love, and in particular diverse sexualities. Loving a robot is loving The Other. The title of the essay is a quote from Janelle Monáe’s album, Electric Lady. The future history tale that Monáe tells in Metropolis, The Archandroid and Electric Lady is centred on the illegal love affair between the android rights activist, Cindi Mayweather, and her human beau, Anthony Greendown. Other works I will be mentioning will include the Imperial Radch Trilogy by Anne Leckie, Autonomous by Analee Newitz and Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson. Cheryl Morgan is a writer, editor, publisher and critic. She owns Wizard’s Tower Press and has written for a variety of outlets including Locus, The SFWA Bulletin, SFX, Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Holdfast Magazine and SF Signal. She is, to her knowledge, the first openly transgender person to have won a Hugo Award. In addition to her science fiction interests she also co-hosts a women’s interest show in Ujima Radio and lectures widely on transgender history. For Luna Press Publishing: Gender identity and sexuality in Current Fantasy and Science Fiction (2017).

Ties That Bind: Love in Fantasy and Science Fiction

is now in pre-order!

#Callforpapers2019 #AcademiaLunare #TiesThatBindLoveinFantasyandSF #FrancescaTBarbini #CherylMorgan

© 2015-2020 by Luna Press Publishing

149/4 Morrison Street

EH3 8AG

Edinburgh, UK