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The Real Aftermath 2023 : The Real Aftermath: How COVID-19 Changed the Way Science Fiction is Conceived, Read and Interpreted


When N/A
Where N/A
Submission Deadline Jul 20, 2023
Notification Due Aug 20, 2023
Final Version Due Oct 1, 2023
Categories    pop culture   science fiction   sociology   anthropology

Call For Papers

Vernon Press invites book chapters for a forthcoming edited volume on the subject of "How COVID-19 Changed the Way Science Fiction is Conceived, Read and Interpreted" in regards to speculative fiction, science fiction, and fantasy fiction and society.

Fields of interest: Literature, Cinema, TV Series, Comics, Games/Video games, New Media, Cultural History.

It is the opinion of multiple sociologists that COVID-19 was a socio-cultural experience that condensed the developments that would have characterised humanity for five years into 2020 alone. As in a science fiction story by Philip K. Dick, a time crack formed, and we lived five years in one: if there had been no pandemic, and we had simply gone on our way, as we more or less thought we would, where would we have arrived in 2025? Where you are now. If everything had gone normally, humans would have arrived in 2025 using digital devices as much as they do now; smart working could be easily conceived worldwide, online shopping would be a normal habit, students would have ended up doing Spanish lessons with WhatsApp and working out in front of a screen at home. Humanity would have come to convert saving the planet into a business, and Greta Thunberg into the heroine of any marketing department. Many old people would, as is inevitable, have missed out: they would have done it in five years, not just one year. It would be 2025, and we would be where we are now.

In just twelve months, we were five years into the future, but unfortunately, our journey has been disorganised and chaotic, leaving us with some of what we have been along the way. Therefore, we have to reconstruct some sort of timeline, so that we reach 2025 as soon as possible. As sociologist Lisa Messeri (2017) notes, “Science fiction is a way of imagining futures that we might not otherwise be able to envision.” In the context of COVID-19, science fiction can offer insights into the potential long-term societal impacts of the pandemic, as well as new possibilities for navigating a world transformed by disease. The aftermath of the pandemic is likely to be complex and far-reaching, encompassing everything from changes in global travel patterns to the ways in which people interact with one another. For the past three years, the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a renewed interest in science fiction narratives that explore the relationship between disease outbreaks, society, and technology.

The real aftermath: how COVID 19 changed the way science fiction is conceived, read and interpreted calls for a deepening on speculative/science/fantasy fiction in various forms of media, emphasizing their connections to history, society, and the present moment. Additionally, it prompts us to carefully consider how utopian and dystopian narratives impact daily life, as they offer potential models for reimagining current circumstances and envisioning alternatives. The call for proposals invites contributions that explore the multifaceted relationship between science fiction and society in the real aftermath of COVID-19. We seek proposals that critically examine how science fiction narratives, across different media, reflect and influence social, cultural, and political realities. Specifically, we encourage proposals that explore the intersections of science fiction with diverse fields, such as history, sociology, philosophy, gender studies, and media studies: this edited book aims to advance the dialogue on how the pandemic changed the way science fiction is conceived, read and interpreted and to offer a comprehensive analysis of the genre's impact on our real world.

Proposals may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

The impact of COVID-19 on the portrayal of dystopian and utopian narratives in science fiction media;
Science fiction as a tool for critiquing social, cultural, and political realities;
The role of science fiction in shaping our understanding of global crises;
Pandemic, sci-fi, and history: how to deal with diseases in the collective imagination;
The intersection of science fiction and gender studies in the post-COVID-19 world;
The portrayal of technology and its impact on society in science fiction media in the aftermath of the pandemic;
Apocalypse and post-apocalypse: stories, fears, and solutions;
Popular culture as a vehicle of social transformation across media;
The use of science fiction as a platform for discussing issues of race and ethnicity in the post-pandemic world;
The impact of science fiction on popular culture representation: gender politics, queerness, ethnicity, disability, nationality, religious minorities, immigrants/refugees;

Chapter proposal submission:

The language of the edited book is English. We welcome proposals from researchers at all stages of development. Please submit abstracts (maximum 500 words) for book chapters, together with a short biography (maximum 100 words), and affiliation information. Chapters need to comply with the technical requirements of the APA style (7th edition); all submissions should be sent to Volume Editor, Riccardo Retez ( by 20 July 2023.

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