“Science Fiction Studies” (SFS) is one of world’s most prestigious academic journals dedicated to the study, research and exegesis of the speculative fiction.
SFS was founded in 1973 by the late English professor R.D. Mullen at Indiana State University, USA.
The journal is published three times per year at DePauw University (Indiana, USA). As the name implies, the journal publishes articles and book reviews on science fiction, but also occasionally on fantasy and horror when the topic also covers some aspect of science fiction as well. Known as one of the major academic publications of its type, “Science Fiction Studies” is considered the most “theoretical” of the academic journals that publish on science fiction. The journal publishes critical articles and book reviews only; it does not publish science fiction stories.
SFS has been called the world’s most respected journal for the critical study of science fiction.
Recognized as having brought a rigorous theoretical focus to the study of this popular genre, SFS has been featured in “The Chronicle of Higher Education”, where Jim Zook noted that “Since its founding… Science Fiction Studies has charted the course for the most hard-core science fiction critics and comparatists. That focus has earned the journal its reputation as the most theoretical scholarly publication in the field, as well as the most daring”.
SFS has also been reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement, where Paul Kincaid compared the world’s three principal learned journals that focus on science fiction: Science Fiction Studies, Extrapolation (published at the University of Texas, Brownsville), and Foundation (published at the University of Liverpool, UK). He concluded that “Science Fiction Studies… has always been resolutely academic, the articles always peer-reviewed …, and with an uncompromising approach to the complexities of critical theory”.
SFS is refereed, very selective (its acceptance rate averages around 37%), and its 900+ subscription base includes institutions and individuals in the US and Canada and more than 30 foreign countries.
On top of being the most theoretically sophisticated journal in the field, SFS also has the broadest coverage of science fiction outside the English language, with special issues on Science Fiction in France, Post- Soviet SF, Japanese SF, Latin American SF, etc..
SFS has had three different institutional homes during its lifetime.
It was founded in 1973 at Indiana State University by the late English professor Dr. R.D. Mullen, where it remained for approximately five years.
In 1978, it moved to McGill University and then to Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, where it was supported by a Canadian government grant until 1991.
SFS was brought back to Indiana to DePauw University in 1992 where it has remained ever since.
The parent company of SFS is SF-TH Inc., a not-for-profit corporation established under the laws of the State of Indiana.
Dr. Arthur B. Evans (DePauw University) serves as president of SF-TH Inc. and managing editor of SFS. The other senior editors of SFS are Dr. Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr. (DePauw University), Dr. Joan Gordon (Nassau Community College), Dr. Veronica Hollinger (Trent University), Dr. Rob Latham and Dr. Sherryl Vint (both at the University of California at Riverside), and Dr. Carol McGuirk (Florida Atlantic University).
“Science Fiction Studies” #126 = Volume 42, Part 2 = July 2015, Edited by Umberto Rossi, Arielle Saiber, and Salvatore Proietti
Arielle Saiber and Umberto Rossi. Introduction: Italian SF: Dark Matter or Black Hole? (Full text)
Salvatore Proietti. The Field of Italian SF (Full text)
Symposium on Italian SF
Valerio Evangelisti. Science Fiction: A Narrative in Line With the Times
Arielle Saiber and Salvatore Proietti. A Selection of Italian SF Novels and Short Stories Translated and Published in English
Felice Beneduce. Progress and Reaction in Early Italian SF: A New Translation of Paolo Mantegazza’s The Year 3000: A Dream
Paweł Frelik. Greener Than You Think: Canavan and Robinson’s Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction
BOOKS IN REVIEW
Burnham’s Greg Egan (Graham J. Murphy)
Chapman/Cull’s SF and Popular Cinema (Sonja Fritzsche)
Clarke’s Neocybernetics and Narrative (Walter Merryman)
Germaná/Mousoutzanis’s Apocalyptic Discourse in Contemporary Culture (Malisa Kurtz)
Gomel’s Science Fiction, Alien Encounters, and the Ethics of Posthumanism (Seo-Young Chu)
Hrotic’s Religion in Science Fiction (Gerry Canavan)
Kakoudaki’s Anatomy of a Robot (Lisa Swanstrom)
Kerman/Browning’s The Fantastic in Holocaust Literature and Film (Elana Gomel)
Kincaid’s Call and Response (Gary K. Wolfe)
McGrath’s Deep Ends: The J.G. Ballard Anthology 2014 (Michael Jarvis)
McMillan’s Orbiting Ray Bradbury’s Mars (Paris Brown)
Ranisch/Sorgner’s Post- and Transhumanism (Hallvard Haug)
Vas-Deyres/Bergeron/Guay/Plet-Nicolas/André’s Les Dieux cachés de la science-fiction française et francophone (1950-2010) (Arthur B. Evans)
NOTES AND CORRESPONDENCE
George Edgar Slusser (1939-2014) (Arthur B. Evans)
ICFA 36 (Graham Hall)
The Mimetic, Hermetic, and Apocalyptic (David Ketterer)
Aesthetics, Artificiality, and Virtuality in SF (David Ketterer)
Howell Davies and John Wyndham (David Ketterer)
2015-2016 Mullen Fellowships (Sherryl Vint)
SFS appears three times per year (March, July, November) and averages 150-200 pages. A representative issue contains 5-6 articles ranging in length from 5,000 to 15,000 words, 2-3 review-essays, and two dozen book reviews covering scholarly works, plus a substantial Notes and Correspondence section. Special issues follow the same format but are usually guest-edited.
Recent special issue topics include Technoculture and Science Fiction, Afrofuturism, Latin American Science Fiction, and Animal Studies and Science Fiction. A regular rotation of open and special issues has characterized the journal’s publication schedule from the outset: roughly one-third of its 105 issues have been special issues. These special issues often have a major impact on the field, setting critical agendas and initiating debates. Guest editors are drawn from the consulting board of 37 scholars, representing in their expertise the international scope of the field.
SFS can be subscribed to separately, and a subscription is included with membership in the Science Fiction Research Association.
©Science Fiction Studies
- Richard Dale Mullen (1915-1998) : American sf critic and scholar, emeritus professor of English at Indiana State University, USA.Mullen was a founding member of the Science Fiction Research Association. In 1973 he established Science Fiction Studies and was its publisher and, with Darko Suvin, its co-editor through 1978; he returned to the journal as an editor in 1991 and managing editor from the November 1991 issue.
He and Suvin also edited Science-Fiction Studies: Selected Articles on Science Fiction 1973-75 (anthology, 1976) and Science-Fiction Studies: Second Series: Selected Articles on Science Fiction 1976-77 (anthology, 1978).
On Philip K Dick: 40 Articles from Science-Fiction Studies (anthology, 1992) with Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Arthur B Evans and Veronica Hollinger, assembled some significant Philip K. Dick criticism, plus some less useful strictly academic pieces.
Mullen’s editorial personality was relaxed, sensible, meticulous, and always demonstrated an eagerness to get the facts straight, qualities which also permeated his interesting criticism, mostly published in Extrapolation and Science Fiction Studies.