Posts Tagged ‘science fiction



13
Mar
12

Episode Recap: “Clarence Montgomery,” Alcatraz

You wouldn’t know from looking at the first seven episodes of the new series¬†Alcatraz, but Alcatraz prison incarcerated black inmates–in segregated cell blocks. Finally, after being delayed two weeks by an unholy conspiracy between NASCAR, rain, and the FOX scheduling department, audiences got to see the other side of the color line at Alcatraz. In “Clarence Montgomery,” we follow, you guessed it, Clarence Montgomery, a newly returned ’63 who might be one of the most important Alcatraz inmates we’ve met yet. In the interest of shielding innocent eyes from spoilers, follow me behind the jump. Continue reading ‘Episode Recap: “Clarence Montgomery,” Alcatraz’

25
Feb
12

Where does disability come from?: Hynerian dominars and the social model

Image: Rygel, a grey alien with a tiny nose, pointy hairy ears, a big mouth, and a mustache, wears the robes of Hynerian royalty.

Meet Dominar Rygel XVI, just your average deposed monarch from the¬†illustrious¬†Hynerian empire. What’s a Hynerian, you ask. If you want to be crude about it, to use the words of the Human John Crichton, “a two-foot green slug” (“Won’t Get Fooled Again). Imagine if you will, then, a palace full of Hynerians (that is, with the exception of their Banik slaves, who, as Rygel would assure you, don’t really count). What would the architecture look like in such a palace? The furniture would be smaller and lower to the ground. If the palace had luxurious high ceilings, they’d be about seven feet high. The whole built environment would cater to people about the size of Rygel (and, if we’re being honest here, the whole built environment would cater to Rygel specifically). You’d have a bunch of Hynerians moving about in a world built for them (and a bunch of Baniks crouched over like John Cusack on floor 7 1/2 in Being John Malkovich).

But what happens if a Hynerian leaves that environment? Say, if their cousin Bishan deposes them in their sleep. What happens if they end up in a world made for much taller species? What then? Continue reading ‘Where does disability come from?: Hynerian dominars and the social model’

20
Feb
12

Disability in my sci-fi?

Hyperbole and a Half meme

Image: Background: a cartoon of a blonde woman punching the air with her fist and holding a broom in her other hand. "CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!" is handwritten above her head. Foreground: the caption: "LIST ALL THE SPACE CRIPS!"

Over Christmas dinner, I was telling my family that I wanted to write about disability in science fiction. My future brother-in-law, who is a big sci-fi fan, was doubtful that disability was covered often enough in sf for me to study it. (He had previously asked me if there was enough material to warrant doctoral programs in women’s studies. Apparently, he hadn’t heard that women and girls make up a little over half of the world’s population.) After that, I got to thinking about it and started to compile a mental list of characters with disabilities and disability themes in sci-fi/fantasy. In the interest of appealing to my fairly concrete minded brother-in-law, this list is limited to characters who would be read as having a disability in the US in 2012 rather than characters who demonstrate that disability is on a spectrum and culturally relative. The latter will come later. Without any further ado, I give you my rudimentary rundown of disability in sci-fi/fantasy.* You are forewarned: here be spoilers. Continue reading ‘Disability in my sci-fi?’




Space Crip

People with disabilities? In my sci-fi? It's more likely than you think.