Black Space: Imagining Race in Science Fiction Film
by Adilifu Nama
Science fiction film offers its viewers many pleasures, not least of which is the possibility of imagining other worlds in which very different forms of society exist. Not surprisingly, however, these alternative worlds often become spaces in which filmmakers and film audiences can explore issues of concern in our own society. Through an analysis of over thirty canonic sci...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by University of Texas Press
(first published March 1st 2008)
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Science fiction's multilayered vision of the future, in author Nama's work, is still a plateau grounded in the contemporary realities of race. More specifically, as in dissection of the movie "They Live," science fiction has, at times, offered a chance for a discussion about inequality, power and the cultural contradictions between white working-class idealism based in Horatio Alger-inspired meritocracy and the long-unresolved disenfranchisement of people of color which has engendered mistrust.
This one would be about a 3.8 if I could give decimal points. While the middle chapters of this book do some very important work, he leads with (chapter 2) his weakest chapter, and the last chapter is a little light on detail (after all, "Alien Nation" is the film that proves his whole theory, and likely should be examined in a great deal of detail). I'm not thrilled by how much he relies on Adam Roberts' book, because that book is awful. Some very useful theory, here, though, despite that. His...more