Week 11 Blog

Kandice Ollis
2 min readNov 9, 2020

In Haraway’s acceptance speech she uses this quote and it was later used famously in the science fiction world. This quote, to me, shows the importance of the representation of science, especially through science fiction. This representation provides foundation to science and leads to future research and experiments. A very basic example of this would be if you were to be told horrible or boring stories about a certain field of science then you are less likely to go into that field of science because of the information that was told you. The words we use and the stories we tell hold importance of interpretation, understanding, and awareness.

In Octavia Butler’s article Devil Girl from Mars: Why I Write Science Fiction, her science fiction journey started because of the representation of the study of space that was shown to her in school which she only thought was true in the comics and this led to her interest in the possibilities of what she could write about. If it wasn’t for the way space was presented to her then she may not have developed the love she has for science fiction now. In her science fiction works, she writes about the future and all the possibilities that come with it, prophecies if you will. For example she wrote about global warming which of course, is a huge problem now and holds a lot of possibilities that could happen as a result of global warming

In Ted Chiang’s article, Exhalation, he uses this far fetched idea of an alternate world to get a message across and for people to sort of self-reflect. This supports my interpretation because the way he told his story matters. Although it was different from an average science fiction writer, the way he told the story got his audience to think about his messages/points and understand the importance. Now this story could’ve been told in many different ways but like Haraway said, “it matters what we use to think other matters with…”. In order for his audience to understand what the message he was trying to portray, he had to tell us in a way maybe he learned or a way he thinks would be the most effective to learn from.

Both Butler and Chiang use exaggeration and far fetched ideas but in the future it may not be so off-put as we may think it is now. In this sense, the words we use, the stories we tell, how these stories are spreaded, etc., all hold importance in science fiction and speculative fiction. They are key for future generations and the future of science.

References:

Butler, O. (1998). “Devil Girl From Mars”: Why I Write Science Fiction. https://www.blackhistory.mit.edu/archive/transcript-devil-girl-mars-why-i-write-science-fiction-octavia-butler-1998

Chiang, T. (2014, March 29). Exhalation. Retrieved October 30, 2020, from https://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/exhalation/

Haraway, D. (2013) SF: Science Fiction, Speculative Fabulation, String Figures, So Far. Ada 11(3). https://adanewmedia.org/2013/11/issue3-haraway/ Chapter 1

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