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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.
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Personal Essay: "Destruction is What Creation Needs" by Sunny Moraine

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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: "Destruction is What Creation Needs" by Sunny Moraine

For me, there’s pretty much always been something intrinsically queer about science fiction.

You wouldn’t necessarily think that, right? I mean, I wouldn’t have, at least not given the yelling that’s been done over how much we’re destroying it. I wouldn’t have except I do, because I know my own history with it; I’ve seen it in the lives of my friends and colleagues; I’ve felt it in how powerful these stories are and what I know they’re capable of.

My earliest memories of science fiction involve the feeling of expanding borders, of shooting right past them. Technology, the future, the past, the boundaries between people, between human and non-human. What we might become, what we are now, where we’ve been and how we can make sense of it all. Science fiction for me has always been about the erosion of constraints. It’s always been about flexibility, transformation. It’s always been about building, but also about movement within and outside of that building. It’s always been about constructing something and then smashing it apart to see what happens.

It’s been about questioning everything. Changing everything, if it’s possible to do so.

I was learning how to write science fiction at the same time as I was coming into a fuller understanding of what queer meant in the context of me. The two grew together, side by side and then fully enmeshed. Creating these worlds and playing within them was profoundly connected to the grappling with identity I was spending so much time doing. The rearranging of concepts and ideas in one place helped make the same rearrangement possible in the other. Which changed daily. It still does. Hour by hour. There’s actually no line between the two.

Who am I? What’s my relationship with this body? How do I fit into it? What do I want? What does it want? What does any of this mean? I can’t imagine trying to answer these questions, for myself, without the tools science fiction provides. Wild thought experiments, exploding frontiers, not only shifting parameters but the absence of any parameters at all. None of this has to be static. None of it is.

All these things are true, and none of them are.

I clearly don’t think science fiction shouldn’t be queer. I do think queers are destroying science fiction. I think we should. I think something like science fiction should be in a constant state of destruction. Destruction in this context is inherently creative. How else are we supposed to live there?

I don’t know how would, anyway.

______

Sunny Moraine’s short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Nightmare, and Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, among other places. They are also responsible for the novels Line and Orbit (cowritten with Lisa Soem) and the Casting the Bones trilogy, as well as A Brief History of the Future: collected essays. In addition to authoring, Sunny is a doctoral candidate in sociology and a sometimes college instructor; that last may or may not have been a good move on the part of their department. They unfortunately live just outside Washington DC in a creepy house with two cats and a very long-suffering husband. They can be found at sunnymoraine.com.

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