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Science Fiction Studies

Entry updated 11 July 2022. Tagged: Publication.

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Academic journal, published both from the USA and from Canada, founded Spring 1973, current, 107 issues to March 2009, three issues a year. Science Fiction Studies was co-edited from the outset by R D Mullen and Darko Suvin, with Mullen also acting as publisher; the magazine was first published from Indiana State University, where Mullen taught. He left at the end of 1978, and in 1979 with #17 the magazine moved to McGill University in Montreal, where it was edited by Suvin, Marc Angenot and Robert M Philmus, joined by Charles Elkins with #20 (1980). Suvin's last issue was #22 (1980) and Angenot's #25 (1982). Philmus and Elkins remained in charge until #52, November 1990. With #53, 1991, Mullen resumed the editorship along with Philmus, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Arthur B Evans and Veronica Hollinger, Philmus dropping out with #54. Science Fiction Studies returned to Indiana with #56 (1992) and is now published at DePauw University.

Science Fiction Studies is the second youngest of the four academic journals about sf (Extrapolation and Foundation are older, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts is younger). It does not normally review contemporary sf, though it runs excellent reviews of books about sf. Over the years it has probably published more good, substantial articles on sf than any of its competitors, being especially strong on European sf, on debate about the nature of the genre, on Utopias, on Feminism and on Postmodernism, but very patchy on Genre SF. There have been two special issues on Philip K Dick, one on Ursula K Le Guin, and sporadic articles on authors like Gregory Benford, Pamela Sargent and William Gibson, but these are in a minority, so that sometimes Science Fiction Studies gives the impression of looking anywhere rather than at the heart of its subject. Unusually for a US journal, some of its critical material is Marxist-oriented. Science Fiction Studies is a responsible, intellectually robust journal which, while it reflects some of the excesses of academic criticism generally (e.g., too much critical jargon), also reflects its strengths. [PN]


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