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Queers Destroy Science Fiction! is a special issue of the Hugo-winning magazine LIGHTSPEED 100% written—and edited—by queer creators.
Queers Destroy Science Fiction! is a special issue of the Hugo-winning magazine LIGHTSPEED 100% written—and edited—by queer creators.
Queers Destroy Science Fiction! is a special issue of the Hugo-winning magazine LIGHTSPEED 100% written—and edited—by queer creators.
2,250 backers pledged $54,523 to help bring this project to life.

Personal Essay: "Science Fiction Has Always Been Queer" by Sigrid Ellis

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When we set out to destroy science fiction with this Kickstarter, we didn't want it to be your ordinary, run-of-the-mill campaign. We wanted it to be full of smashing, crashing queer voices, telling what it really means to be queer reading and writing science fiction. One of the ways we hope to do that is by sharing a series of personal essays about the experience of being queer in science fiction.  

Personal Essay: "Science Fiction Has Always Been Queer" by Sigrid Ellis

Where and when does science fiction begin?

We know, of course of course of course, that space is science fiction. We know that Heinlein is science fiction. We know that clones and lasers and genetic engineering are science fiction. Genetic engineering ...

So, therefore, Anne McCaffrey's Pern books are science fiction, right? Because they take place on another planet, and there's genetic engineering through selective breeding. And telepathy, which is obviously science fiction! Unless, of course, it's superheroes. Or fantasy. Or paranormal romance.

... Perhaps this is a trickier question than previously suspected. Here's another question, then.

Where and when does queer begin?

Gay Pride parades are queer, of course. The Stonewall Riot is queer. People are queer, and slogans, and gender and sex. I'm told some ideas are queer. I'm told some books, some stories, are queer.

Which ones? Stories with gay people in them? With robots? With minds in spaceship bodies, with alien lives and forms rubbing up against humanity? Does a story need a gay love scene to be queer?

Of course not. There's no such thing as a queer story. That's stereotyping, that's profiling, that's marginalization.

Except, of course, that all sorts of stories are queer.

To be queer is to defy easy definition. Which is also what science fiction does. It defies what is known, what is safe. Science fiction extrapolates and explores. It pushes the edges of the known. Science fiction takes us to live in other people's bodies, in minds and hearts alien to our own.

There is no possible way that queers can destroy science fiction. Science fiction is already, has always been, queer.

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Sigrid Ellis is co-editor of the Hugo-nominated Queers Dig Time Lords and Chicks Dig Comics anthologies. She edits the best-selling Pretty Deadly from Image Comics. She is the flash-fiction editor of Queers Destroy Science Fiction!, from Lightspeed Magazine. She edited the Hugo-nominated Apex Magazine for 2014. She lives with her partner, their two homeschooled children, her partner’s boyfriend, and a host of vertebrate and invertebrate pets in Saint Paul, MN.

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    1. Daniel Moore on January 26, 2015

      90% of the things I'm currently interested in have the word 'transgressive' somewhere in their description.

      Might something Queer be something that transgresses within the realm of interpersonal relationships or even relationships within your own body? Is there even really a benefit to trying to pin down the definition Queer *beyond* the word 'transgressive'?

      If so, what is Queer after there is equal acceptance for all GLBTA(and so on) relationships?