© 2013

BDSM in American Science Fiction and Fantasy


About this book


A history of the love affair between BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism) and science fiction and fantasy. Lewis Call explores representations of BDSM in the 1940s Wonder Woman comics, the pioneering prose of Samuel Delany and James Tiptree, and the television shows Battlestar Galactica, Buffy, Angel and Dollhouse.


Comic fiction television

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.California Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis ObispoUSA

About the authors

LEWIS CALL is Associate Professor of History at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, USA. He is the author of Postmodern Anarchism and numerous articles about post-anarchism. He has written extensively about alternative narrative genres like science fiction and fantasy, alternative sexualities like BDSM, and the important intersections between these genres and these sexualities. He holds the Mr. Pointy Award for Buffy Studies scholarship.

Bibliographic information


'BDSM in American Science Fiction and Fantasy is a pure pleasure. At once lightly written and theoretically informed, contemporary and historical, it will appeal to science fiction and fantasy fans, literary and cultural theorists, historians of popular culture, and any reader looking for fresh and enlivening approaches to the books, characters, and shows it discusses.'

- Karmen MacKendrick, Le Moyne College, USA, author of Counterpleasures

'This is an engagingly written and deeply engaged study of the surprisingly lengthy "love affair" between BDSM and American science fiction and fantasy. Whether re-reading relatively familiar material such as Delany's Triton or introducing new material such as Joss Whedon's recent Dollhouse series, Call's analyses are intriguing, enlightening, and always convincing. This is an important study that brings together two cultural practices BDSM and sf/f that were made for each other.'

- Veronica Hollinger, Trent University, Canada, co-editor of Science Fiction Studies