Sexual futures: Feminism and speculative fiction in the Fin de Siècle

Justin Prystash*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


"Sexual Futures" examines the will to proleptic knowledge infln-de-siècle evolutionary science and speculative fiction. This desire to map the future, which characterizes many texts of the time and even some modern scholarship, often merely reiterates present arrangements of sex, gender, and sexuality, but it also functions to shuffle, subvert, or transcend contemporary understandings of biological and sexual forms, especially when an author draws on the feminist strand that runs through Victorian evolutionary theory. By analyzing a range of mostly non-canonical texts, including works by Ménie Muriel Dowie, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Herbert Spencer, Frances Swiney, Eliza Burt Gamble, Julius Vogel, Walter Besant, and William Henry Hudson, this essay reveals the potential for speculative science and fiction to deform sex beyond the recognizable, reorienting our understanding of the political function of the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-363
Number of pages23
JournalScience-Fiction Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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