112th Annual Conference - Riverside Convention Center, California
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014

This page is about the 2014 conference. For 2015 conference info, go to PAMLA 2015.

Science Fiction III: Political Critique in SF

Session Chair: 
Stina Attebery, "University of California, Riverside"
Session 7: Saturday 1:45-3:15pm
RCC Raincross A
Topic Area: 


  1. Joshua Pearson, "University of California, Riverside"
    This paper examines difficulties that arise when one uses theories of the SF novum to read Alternate Present texts.  Working from Csicsery-Ronay, Jr.'s theorization of the novum, I seek to close these lacunae, proposing new language that allows the novum paradigm to account for this subgenre's tricky temporailty.
  2. Colin Drumm, University of California, Riverside
    Bacigalupi's novel, set in a future characterized by extreme energy scarcity, explores a critical tension at the intersection of political economy and ecology.  A contradiction is laid bare between the dynamics of two mutually inextricable but antagonistic systems, whose fundamental units are 'calories,' on the one hand... and 'surplus-value,' on the other.  
  3. Jon Lewis, Troy University
    My paper will explore the use of verbal commands in three novels by Neal Stephenson. Coming from his background in computers, Stephenson's characters often employ the language of the "command line" to drive his plots.
  4. Daniel Valencia, University of California, Riverside
    This paper establishes a nexus between modern-day Chicano science fiction and the formative years of Chicano fiction under countercultural ethos and the politically charged Black Power and Chicano Liberation Movements of the long 1960s. It argues that predominant works of contemporary Chicano science fiction were preceded and even influenced by Afro-6 (1969), and The Revolt of the Cockroach People (1973), thereby relocating the inception of Chicano science fiction to the period in question.
Session Cancelled: