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“The Old Stories Had Become Our Prison”: Globalisation and Identity Politics in John Barnes’s Science Fiction Novels A Million Open Doors and Earth Made of Glass
Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Culture, Society and Media Production - KSM. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2018 (English)In: Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research, ISSN 2342-2009, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 9-20Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article discusses how issues raised by globalisation are represented in John Barnes’s novels A Million Open Doors (1992) and Earth Made of Glass (1998). I will argue that science fiction can work as a model for a futural public sphere, bridging the gap between the humanities and natural science, and enabling a broader public discourse about the societal impacts of science and technology.

Through the novels’ protagonists, Barnes discusses matters of authenticity and identity politics triggered by the globalisation discourse of the 1990s – issues that have again been brought to the fore in the political sphere. By setting the stories in our galaxy in the 29th century, Barnes is debating, challenging, and contesting dystopian as well as utopian conceptions of globalisation in our time. Barnes’s novels highlight the implications of nationalist ideologies, identity politics, and notions of authenticity.

But Barnes also shows how utopian thinking on a borderless global world and idyllic visions of a post-national society (expressed in some of the more utopian streams of globalization literature) are undermined by identity politics. In this sense, Barnes’s novels are opening up a terrain for debating these issues, forming a basis for a futural public sphere

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Juvaskyla, Finland: Finnish Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy Research , 2018. Vol. 5, no 1, p. 9-20
Keywords [en]
Science fiction, Futural public sphere, Globalisation, John Barnes, Identity politics
National Category
Cultural Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-152460OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-152460DiVA, id: diva2:1260315
Available from: 2018-11-01 Created: 2018-11-01 Last updated: 2018-11-07Bibliographically approved

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Godhe, Michael

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf