Thursday, August 25, 2011

Radio Times review of 'Cat Women of the Moon': sex and gender in sf

Just found this Radio Times review of "Cat Women of the Moon," the 2-part BBC Radio 4 documentary about sex and gender in science fiction, which airs next week. (Via SFFAudio)

Review by:
Jeremy Aspinall
Fans of 1950s sci-fi flicks will probably recognise the title of this programme from the 1953 camp classic of the same name. However, slinky lunar maidens out to destroy mankind is only the starting point here, as novelist Sarah Hall muses on science fiction’s ability to allow writers and film-makers to push the boundaries when it comes to sex, gender and power.

As author Nicola Griffith says, real-world stories are about what is, sci-fi is about what if. Cue some extraordinary (and controversial) concepts from writers and academics about all-female societies, triple-gender worlds, a society ruled by “grannies” and fembots. China MiĆ©ville’s Perdido Street Station — about the relationship between a man and a woman with an insectoid head — is a revelation and would seem to be right up director David Cronenberg’s street. Thought-provoking stuff.

Part one of two. Writer Sarah Hall is joined by leading writers including Iain Banks, China MiƩville and Nicola Griffith to discuss how sex is depicted in the science-fiction world, and the way the genre portrays relationships between aliens, artificial life forms and single-sex societies.

Produced by Nicola Swords

Also, thanks to the sleuthing by Jesse Willis at SFFAudio, you can watch the original Cat-Women of the Moon film here. I watched the first five minutes. It would make a superior drinking game: doing a shot every time you spot a space travel howler would have had me in intensive care in three minutes. Or maybe thirty seconds.

I'm looking forward to this.

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