The spring 2018 issue of ELOPE is dedicated to the position and role of speculative fiction and especially science fiction in a world that is increasingly becoming speculative and science fictional. The globalized, digitally mediated nature of contemporary realities and, indeed, individuals, increasingly corresponds to those imagined by the literary cyberpunk of the 1980s – by the movement which with its formal and thematic properties arguably blurred the dividing line between the “mainstream” literary fiction and the science fiction genre. In the first decade of the third millennium, the extrapolations of current technologies and science typically associated with the genre seem to be moving from the temporal to the spatial axis, that is, from the futures far far away to the multiplicity of presents and realities that are parallel to ours. Jaak Tomberg attributes this collapse of futurity to the “cognitively dissonant pace of change in contemporary technocultural society” which renders imagining of ontologically different futures impossible. Approaching the issue from the perspective of postmodern theory, we can similarly ascertain that in a world in which the digital code precedes reality, the present is a priory infused with futurity, and any (literary) speculation cannot NOT be realistic. On the other hand, recent developments in the field increasingly reveal an alternative, radically different approach to futurity. In the 2014 collection of essays on contemporary science fiction SF Now, for instance, contributors acknowledge the prevalence of texts in which the future is a furtherance of the technocultural, late capitalist present; however, with regard to the social, cultural and historical relevance of the genre in the coming years, their focus is directed at the narratives in which the future transcends imaginable possibilities and inspects the potentialities of a different ontological order.
What, then, is science fiction today? What is its role? Has the collapse of futurity onto the present caused an irretrievable convergence of the speculative and the mimetic? How does that reflect on the language used? The stylistic properties? On the ways such fiction is translated? How much sense does it make to treat science fiction – or anything else for that matter – as a genre significantly different from other instances of writing in the context of the postmodern paradigm which fundamentally revels in hybridity? To what an extent do traditional definitions of the genre still apply? What can be considered cognitively dissonant and what can be considered a novum in a world that seems to have no outside? Can there be an outside, and if so what is it (would it be) like? What role can science fiction play in our imaginings of the future? And of our present? What does it have to offer? What can it teach us? These are some of the issues we would like to address in the up-coming issue of ELOPE. The editors warmly invite contributors to submit original research on these and related topics, and to provide insights from as wide a range of perspectives, approaches and disciplines as possible – not only from the seemingly primary domain of literary studies, but also from the perspective of language and translation studies, as well as ELT.
The language of contributions is English. Papers should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words in length, with an abstract of 150–180 words. They should be submitted electronically, and should conform to the author guidelines (http://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/elope/about/submissions). Any inquiries can be sent to Andrej Stopar (firstname.lastname@example.org). Submission deadline: April 1st, 2018.