Studies in the Fantastic is a journal devoted to the Speculative, Fantastic, and Weird in literature and other arts. It publishes work from scholars throughout the world and sustains a lively dialogue within an expanding field that includes film, video, games, comics, graphic novels, digital media, and both traditional and innovative literary modes.
Although grounded in literary studies, we are especially interested in articles examining genres and media that have been underrepresented in humanistic scholarship. Subjects may include, but are not limited to weird fiction, science/speculative fiction, fantasy, video games, architecture, science writing, futurism, and technocracy.
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Guest Editor’s Introduction: No More Room in Hell: Reanimation, Consumption, and Undead Media
By Sonia Lupher
Global Racial Capitalism and the Asian American Zombie in Ling Ma’s Severance
By Aanchal Saraf
#1BillionForThriller: Revival of “Dead” Content on YouTube
By Kelsey Cummings
Fungal Zombies and Tentacular Thinking: The Chthonic Mother in the Game The Last of Us
By Geneveive Newman
Pressing Rewind: New Encounters with Analog Memories in Ross Sutherland’s Stand By for Tape Back-Up
By Jordan Z. Adler
If the Goo Sticks: Streamlining Slime with Goosebumps on Canada’s YTV Network
By Pat Bonner
“Living Hell”: Fulci’s Eternal City
By Daniel Sacco
The Living Dead in Post-Soviet Cultural Consumption
By Denis Saltykov
“Transitional Gothic: Hammer’s Gothic Revival and New Horror”
By Adam Charles Hart
“Like Clockwork: French Automatons in Life and Literature”
By W. Bradley Holley
“The Politics of Precarity in William Gibson’s Bridge Trilogy”
By Bryan Yazell
“From The Day After to The 100: Nuclear Weapons on Television”
By Steven Holmes
“Creepy Atmospheres and Weird Narration in The OA”
By Steen Ledet Christiansen
There is reason to celebrate as the Danahy Fiction Prize completes its first decade and moves forward. This collection of the first ten Danahy Prize stories seems to be one of the most appropriate ways to observe the milestone. It is a chance to showcase ten talented writers who deserve to be even more widely known. And it is a chance to recognize and thank Paul and Georgia Danahy for their generosity, cultural awareness, and commitment to literature and community. The ten stories collected here are presented in the order they were announced as winners, in addition to short biographical notes about each writer arranged alphabetically at the back of the book.
The Quest for Female Empowerment in William Morris’s Late Prose Romances
By Weronika Łaszkiewicz
Bad Future: Real-Time Alternate History
By Andrew Frost
Love in the Time of the Zombie Contagion: A Girardian-Weilienne Reading of World War Z
By Duncan Reyburn
The Figure of the Gothic Body in the Fiction of Caitlín R. Kiernan
By James Goho
How to Build a Transsexual Superman: Reading Superman’s Emergence Alongside Histories of Eugenic Science and Gender Confirmation Surgeries
By Dan Vena
How to Hack Lovecraft, Make Friends with His Monsters, and Hijack His Mythos: Reading Biology and Racism in Elizabeth Bear’s ‘Shoggoths in Bloom’
By Anthony Camara
Ghana-da’s Tall-Telling: Reframing History, Estranging Science, and Appropriating Indigenous Structures of Feeling
By Anwesha Maity
‘The Icy Bleakness of Things’: The Aesthetics of Decay in Thomas Ligotti’s ‘The Bungalow House’
By Chris Brawley
With this third issue, Studies in the Fantastic welcomes readers to a reboot and revival of the journal. In the five years since the last issue, many new and exciting trends have arisen in popular culture and scholarship; in the box office, superheroes dominate, and popular franchises—including Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Terminator, and Mad Max—are having “reboots” of their own, Game of Thrones has renewed a popular interest in fantasy, and scholarship on popular culture proliferates in venues large and small
Studies in the Fantastic [#3] focuses on reboots, in keeping with a compelling contemporary trend and our own re-launch of the journal. Contributors to the issue tackle issues of adaptation, appropriation, and translation. That these topics are at the heart of current debates in literary and cultural studies speaks to the relevance of the fantastic to critical discourse; that this collection of essays is so diverse speaks to the breadth of scholarly approaches to the fantastic and gives great hope for the future of this field of study.
“The Terror of Translation: Ruins of the Translatio in The Castle of Otranto and Vathek”
by Micheal Angelo Rumore
“Revolutionary Subjectivity in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy”
by Peter Melville
“Rebooting the Damsel: The Transformation of the Damsel Archetype in Spider-Man, Superman, and Batman Films from 1978-2014”
by Joseph Walderzak
“The Emerge(d)nt Weird Tale: A Genre Study”
by Todd Spaulding
This year Tampa Review celebrates its fiftieth anniversary with this second of two anniversary issues. From a tiny seed, a surprising family tree has grown: from the mimeographed and stapled UT Poetry Review to today’s lithographed Tampa Review, printed in signatures and sewn into hardback covers. Rooted in the literary and artistic community of the Tampa Bay area, we have grown to be Florida’s oldest literary journal, in this issue renewing itself in partnership with one of the area’s newest cultural assets, the Two Red Roses Foundation.
We are proud of our traditions and our strong affinities with the American Arts and Crafts Movement. Its authentic spirit guides us as an independent, nonprofit publisher, dedicated to artistic standards rather than commercial values. In step with the Two Red Roses Foundation and its Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, we rededicate ourselves to strive for and represent the highest aims of visual and literary arts and to practice in our craft the tangible ways of bringing these aims into daily relevance within the world.
Like the Arts and Crafts Movement that blurred and blended lines between decoration and utility, the literary texts in this issue explore a series of contrasts and connections—past/future, parent/child (especially father/son), poverty/wealth, cynicism/idealism—while refusing to treat them as binaries. The narrator of Isabella David’s Danahy Fiction Prize story is a young law student determined to reject simple dualisms, yet unable to abandon the lure of finely parsed sentences and legal profits for the indistinct goals of fine art. In “Greenhouse Statistics,” Poet Laureate of Florida Peter Meinke acknowledges the contradictions behind his decision to teach his children the ironically named survival skill of “the dead man’s float.”
Children represent the future, and their stories are more complicated than simple fairy tales, as we are reminded in “The Feral Children of Kabul” by J. Malcolm Garcia and in the deconstructed plot of “Hansel and Gretel” by D. J. Sheskin, in which a word game played by grown-ups adds ominous readings to a familiar text. Craig Cotter’s “Nickle Diner” shows a more ideal human moment—a welcome escape from loneliness through empathy and poetry. Together the contents of this fiftieth-anniversary issue transmit rich complexity. As Meinke suggests, while statistics prove the dangers of climate change and measure the threat of global war, we workers in arts and crafts must go on repairing and decorating our houses, teaching and cherishing our children—accepting the limited extent of our power, but nonetheless using it. The beautiful and useful! As Steve Kowit exhorts in his final poem: “Cherish! Cherish! That’s all I can tell you.”
We are pleased to begin our fiftieth year by featuring selections from My Generation: Young Chinese Artists, an exhibition showcasing some of the new world-class artists who have emerged in China since 2000. This exhibition—a collaboration between the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, and the Tampa Museum of Art— offers stunning visual evidence that Florida is fully engaged in global cultural dialog. The show runs here June 7-September 28, 2014, before traveling to Oklahoma City Museum of Art, where it will be on view October 25, 2014-January 18, 2015. The works speak for themselves while bridging the country and spanning the globe.
The literary contents of TR49 reflect a new generation’s struggle with “Utopia”—as Qui Xiaofei visually depicts on the cover. Poet Zeina Hashem Beck also expresses it in her opening poem as she personifies a world “trying to tip over its pain.” Daniel Gabriel describes a utopian interlude in his 2009 visit to “Syria Before It All Went South.” By contrast, Malcolm Garcia struggles to find grounds for faith amidst horror and ruin in “Praying in Reyhanli.”
Less destructive but deeply troubling is the singing war started by Mrs. Mudd in Jill Birdsall’s “The Beer Garden,” where experiences that promise harmony become discordant when inflected by greed, ego, and nationalism. Poet Michael Hettich takes a higher view in “Certain Constellations,” in which attentiveness to the natural world affirms the possibility of harmony if “we might move into/the circle of its song.”
The issue concludes with struggles from our more recent past portrayed in Vincent Czyz’s “Straightsville,” set in the 1980s, mostly at a gay rally in Manhattan. The story’s narrator experiences a series of mutual misreadings that blur the cultural divide between New York and New Jersey, gay and straight, work week and weekend. Czyz’s story suggests, as does the speaker of Knute Skinner ’s poem “What I Have Assembled,” that selves are multiple, that they can be torn apart and reassembled in diverse ways, and that people and generations may be more alike than different.
Finally, reproductions from the Tampa Poetry Review of fifty years ago remind us how both our distant and recent pasts contain the cultural heritage and visionary struggles that create each new version of “my generation.”
Every work of literary and visual art can be said to offer an experience of “augmented reality,” making us aware of hidden dimensions, perceptions, and truths about our world that heighten and enhance our understanding. This issue of Tampa Review, however, presents Augmented Reality for the first time in a digital mode. The cover art by Kendra Frorup includes a gateway to a virtual reality, and readers with the Aurasma app on an iPhone, iPad, or smart device can view the emptiness within that arch as a threshhold to moving images from Turks and Caicos in the Bahamas.
Augmented Reality is only one of many “firsts” in this double issue. It’s also the first time that we have highlighted our own University of Tampa art faculty as the featured artists for the issue. We don’t know why we didn’t think of it before, but now that it has finally occurred to us, it will not be the last time. It has always been part of our mission to connect Florida and the world, and our University of Tampa art faculty beautifully fit the pattern of local and global awareness.
One phrase that comes to mind with respect to the contents is “foreign and domestic,” a term pointing two ways that turns up in federal swearing-in ceremonies and in oaths of citizenship. It also resonates throughout this issue, from the homeland security of “A Family of Interest” in James Gordon Bennett’s Danahy Fiction Prize story to Martin Cloutier’s disturbing “World Brought Close,” with its images of need and vulnerability. Foreign and domestic explorations can stretch the boundaries of the worlds we know, and this issue probes both home and outer limits. Reality is continuously augmented in this issue, cover to cover, rolling out in unexpected directions and connections near and far—spokes on a wheel, cords and ties that bind, new ways of reading that open the doors of perception.
Issue 45/46 of Tampa Review features the 2012 winner of the $1,000 Danahy Fiction Prize, “Scar” by Mark Krieger. The cover art is a photograph of the expansive room-sized installation art of Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse exhibited in the Selby Gallery of the Ringling College of Art and Design of Sarasota, Florida. Like their installations, much of the work in this issue explores phases of identity, considers the marks we leave upon the world and questions permanence and change. Readers are invited to consider how experiences scar us, and to ask how permanent those marks may be.
The new double issue contains the work of twenty-eight poets, twelve works of art by painters, photographers, found-object sculptors, installation and mixed media artists, as well as six written works each in fiction and nonfiction categories.
From a timeless Magic Carpet interview with featured cover artist Robert Zakanitch, to the search for roots in Colin Chad Redemer’s “Buried,” to the domestic epic quest of Rebecca Huntman’s “The Dining Room Table,” this latest release touches on mystery, pattern, and culture. Presented by a cast of 70 poets, artists, writers, and editors, this Fall/Winter 2012 double issue of Tampa Review is magic and mythic.
Insistent Visions is a series dedicated to republishing supernatural fiction, mysteries, science fiction, and adventure stories from the nineteenth century that deserve to be more widely known and appreciated. As of Winter 2016/2017 the series is made up of four volumes:
The Library Window
A new edition of a classic story by Margaret Oliphant, edited and introduced by Elizabeth Winston.
A Study of Destiny
Count Louis Hamon—also known as Cheiro—was an Irishman who achieved international celebrity as a seer, palmist, numerologist, and bestselling author. A Study of Destiny (also published as The Hand of Fate) was his only work of fiction. This masterful story of a curse—and the fate of the cursed—has been out of print, except for one anthology appearance, since the 1890s.
The Caves of Death
A collection of the supernatural and weird fiction of California author Gertrude Atherton (1857-1948). She was a best-selling and prolific writer with a long career, spanning the 1890s to the 1940s, who made occasional forays into the supernatural field. Those stories were published in several mixed collections during her lifetime. The University of Tampa Press is proud to gather them together in this new edition edited by scholar S. T. Joshi, who provides an introduction, afterword, and notes on the text.
The Dead Hand & The Bride’s Chamber
“The Dead Hand” by Wilkie Collins and “The Bride’s Chamber” by Charles Dickens originally appeared as parts of The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices by Dickens and Collins (1857), a collaboration between two giants of nineteenth century literature, with the more famous of the two authors claiming the right to list his name first. The complete work is not often read today, but through Maria Bachman’s discerning presentation of this pair of intriguing stories—published together as stand-alone pieces for the first time here—we hope they will reach a new and wider audience. Edited with an introduction, afterword, and notes by Maria Bachman.
Each title is also available individually, in both paperback and hardback editions.