Labonte, Richard and Schimel, Lawrence editors, “The Future is Queer”, Arsenal Pulp Press. 2006
What Is to Come
So much is happening so fast in the world of technology and politics that it is anyone’s guess what will happen in the future in terms of gay and lesbian life. We have come very far in the last few years and even though great strides have been made in acceptance and equality there is still a long way to go. Think about some of the monumental progress we have made. People are actually talking openly about the idea of gay marriage—something we could not have imagines several years ago. There have been well organized anti-gay campaigns led by the religious right to ensure that we are still a long way from being taken seriously and there have been scientific breakthroughs and they are openly spoken about. It has been forty years since the inception of a g ay rights movement but it does seem that we are embarking on a new age for our community. “The Future is Queer” is a new anthology of stories and articles that posits a queer future for us and covers the issues of cloning, gene manipulation and gender reassignment. It is not about a world where little green men with big eyes and antennae roam the earth but it asks the important questions of who we are and where are we going as well as dealing with what we want and what we should be afraid of.
There are selections from around the world which are though provoking yet possible if we learn to deal with both our present and our past. We can be assured by reading this anthology that our future will be different but will resonate with lessons from the past and that it will be as diverse as we are but there will be a place for every one of us.
The book is subtitled as a science fiction anthology but as fast as things are happening, it is indeed possible that much of what s written about here will in all probability come to be. Many of the things that I read about seemed to be extraordinary yet possible. We are embarking n a future of freedom but will too much freedom be suffocating? Is it possible that the religious right will finally not bother us because of our sexual bent but concentrate on religious faith instead? Can we live in a future where gender choice is simply as easy as checking a box on a questionnaire? Will it be possible for us to communicate with the dead? Is it not indeed possible that the future will provide for us the chance to have all that we desire because of the advancement of technology? A more important question may be—how much fiction is science fiction when we live in a world that is changing so quickly? “The Future is Queer” provides a great deal of food for thought. In fact it is a banquet of entrees that we need to taste. There are some amazing ideas here.