*But now, we must eat! Food and Drink in Science Fiction*
Shepard: Why are you so interested in fish from the Presidium?
Kargesh: It’s so decadent! Eating fish from the Presidium would be like
*Mass Effect 2* (2010)
Guinan: Gentlemen, something new from Forcas Three.
Data: I believe this beverage has provoked an emotional response.
Guinan: It looks like he hates it.
Data: Yes. That is it. I hate this. […] It is revolting!
*Star Trek Generations* (1994)
What is the secret of Soylent Green? […] Soylent Green is made out of
*Soylent Green* (1973)
In her contribution to *Reel Food: Essays on Food and Film* (2004), Laurel
Forster remarks that “food appears as an important element in a surprising
number of […] science fiction films” and helps “illuminat[e] social,
national, and even global structures, agencies, and order.” Thus, the
interrelationships between food and science fiction offer “a valuable means
of understanding the link between the individual and controlling powers
around her/him.” While many science fiction texts employ food and drink in
uncritical ways and/or as “simple” (if such exists) props supporting the
narrative action, the genre also often foregrounds food and drink (and the
attendant activities of eating and drinking) as means for generating affect
and/or producing meaning. For example, in David Cronenberg’s *The Fly*
(1986), half-mutated Seth vomits digestive juices onto his morning donut to
prepare it for consumption, noting, “Oh, that is disgusting,” thereby
mirroring the viewer’s response to the on-screen action. Similarly, when
first the aliens and then “undercover” Frank consume the green, vomit-like
goo in Peter Jackson’s *Bad Taste* (1987), this moment might evoke laughter
or, more likely, induce anastaltic reflexes. Likewise, disgust and
revulsion were likely the first reactions *Star Trek: Discovery* (2017–)
viewers had to Terran Empress Georgiou dining on the ganglia of a Kelpian—a
sentient species kept as slaves and livestock. What do these corporeal
responses to food images mean? What meanings do food and drink, more
generally, communicate in science fiction texts?
This volume will discuss food and drink in science fiction across
media—movies, television shows, literature, video games, comics, etc. Of
course, as forms of sustenance, food and drink are among the essential
elements of life. But this is also precisely why representations of food
and drink are always ripe with meaning. As this book will show, science
fiction uses food and drink to explore pertinent issues ranging from the
homogenization of food in a globalized economy to the exploitation of our
natural resources and the attendant phenomena of water, air, and soil
pollution, deforestation, and the scarcification of food.
If you are interested in contributing to this volume, please submit a
500-word proposal to
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you do not receive a confirmation of receipt within 48 hours, you may
assume that your email hasn’t reached us for some reason. In that case,
please re-submit. Please also direct any questions you might have to the
email address indicated above.
We will most likely first approach European university presses with this
project, as they generally move ahead faster than their American
November 15, 2018: deadline for abstracts
December 15, 2018: notifications (please note that the acceptance of your
abstract does not guarantee your chapter’s inclusion in the collection)
June 30, 2019: chapter drafts due
September 30, 2019: feedback to authors
December 31, 2019: revised chapters due
*Cynthia J. Miller* has editor or co-edited over a dozen scholarly volumes,
including *What’s Eating You? Food and Horror on Screen* (Bloomsbury,
2017), *The Laughing Dead: The Horror-Comedy Film from* Bride of
Frankenstein *to* Zombieland (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), and the
award-winning *Steaming into a Victorian Future: A Steampunk Anthology*
(Rowman & Littlefield, 2012).
*Steve Rabitsch* is the author of Star Trek* and the British Age of Sail:
The Maritime Influence throughout the Series and Films *(McFarland, in
print) and co-editor of *Set Phasers to Teach!* Star Trek *in Research and
Teaching* (Springer, 2018).
*Michael Fuchs* has (co-)authored about fifty published and forthcoming
journal articles and book chapters, which have appeared (or are
forthcoming) in venues such as the *Journal of Popular Television*,
Review of Film and Video*, the *European Journal of American Culture*, and
the *European Journal of American Studies*.
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite