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Extra info for Disability in Science Fiction: Representations of Technology as Cure
Analysis of Delany’s writings in the context of disability social justice shows how DS can be a tool for reading SF, and how SF can be a tool for performing the messy theoretical and practical work of DS. The Einstein Intersection’s aliens are a misrepresentation of disability—a contested terrain—that makes us rethink concepts of impairment, stigma, inclusion, community, normalcy, and self-identity. Unreal worlds of difference open up interpretive space for intersectional analysis and action across “different commitments [and] [ .
They advocate reforming the rules, while others argue for preserving a narrow view of functionality that matches human standards. For example, Lobey recounts Lo Hawk’s objections to granting mute Friza a status title: “In my day, La and Lo were reserved for total norms. ” [ . . ] 28 O Joanne Woiak and Hioni Karamanos “Communication is vital, if we are ever to become human beings. ” These passages resonate with DS awareness that judgments about what counts as normal and disabled are always in flux.
The first city dweller he meets, described as a hunchback, explains that status titles are associated with wealth and power, not with functionality. As Slusser points out, “difference” here is actually “concealed economic disparity between rulers and subjects” (47). The hunchback articulates the complex intersection between disability and class, in which many members of prominent families are nonfunctional and therefore all citizens are pressured to keep difference a “private matter”: “Difference is the foundation of those buildings, the pilings beneath the docks, tangled in the roots of the trees.