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Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers

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This could be taken further to really get them thinking about what they already knew and what they read at home: ‘What was the most surprising thing you learned?

Finally, there are several stories which fuse speculative fiction with other genres and subvert those in the process: noir, crime, horror, erotica, satire. As you can see from these examples, the appropriate word choice depends on the specific context in which it is being used. For the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who, Big Finish is producing Once and Future – a special series of monthly full-cast audio dramas, each focusing on one of the Doctors. In July 2018, we suggested on Twitter that we wanted to produce a bank of ‘meanwhile elsewhere…’ resources.The first story is erotica, which is not my bag, but the second story- Delicate Bodies by Bridget Liang- made me put the book down and ask if I wanted to read a collection edited by people that would include a story like this.

At the same time, I wanted not just to emulate but also to reclaim feminist SF/F traditions that often have been, as with Joanna Russ, quite hostile to trans people.

Perhaps, to end this one, I should also reproduce this Disclaimer from the anthology's back cover: Meanwhile, Elsewhere not legally approved for use in medical settings. You say in the afterword that “trans people have been treated in science fiction and fantasy as part of the spectacle: either as an amazing future technology … or as awful unlikely monsters. To take “Delicate Bodies” as an example; in that story, the protagonist is a racialized trans woman who becomes a zombie and sexually assaults and murders people. While the rules for using “elsewhere” and “meanwhile” are generally straightforward, there are exceptions to be aware of. Imagine having that information while you were digging yourself the twin ruts of male-coded videogaming and shame that you'd spend the rest of your life trying to dig your way out of.

I think it’s that kind of attention to mundanity instead of spectacle that allows these stories of awesome trans monsters and machines to also be human and complex and lived. What would you do, if a perfect clone of yourself hatched before your eyes, and only had a few short days to experience humanity? An example from my teaching came when I taught a three-lesson sequence on the Korean War and the final lesson culminated in a detailed, rich debate on ‘Who won the Korean War? Therefore we haven’t put together a large bank of resources for anyone to use; instead we encourage schools to make their own. The story itself doesn't even fit with the theme the editors claim they chose for the book and it is a horror story, not SF/F.Delicate Bodies by Bridget Liang - When being transgender is so often treated by like a disease, and when so much of society treats you as a monstrous freak, maybe becoming a sentient flesh-eating zombie isn't such a bad thing. Rent, Don't Sell by Calvin Gimplevich - This one starts out with the old staple of body-swapping, but puts some interesting twists on it. Also, in re “Delicate Bodies” and monstrousness, I think on the left now there’s this prevalent axiom that being oppressed makes you virtuous — that when you are hurt you somehow become a better person.

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