When Genres Collide: Selected Essays from the 37th Annual Meeting of the Science Fiction Research Association. Ed. Thomas J. Morrissey and Oscar De Los Santos. Waterbury, CT: Fine Tooth Press, 2007.133-40.
Marge Piercy’s Body of Glass (1991) reveals the limitations and costs of a narrow masculinist definition of science that emphasises objectivity, autonomy, control and domination. Piercy suggests that an alternative feminist conception of science based on love, connection and community, and celebrating permeable boundaries and multiple sources of meaning, is more relevant to our cyborgian future.
While the definition of SF has been heavily debated, it has generally been recognised as having some connection to the concept of science. Piercy’s vision of an alternative feminist science therefore forces us to question how we define SF. This question is highlighted with the parallel drawn between the 21st century scientific creation of the robot, Yod, and the 16th century spiritual/magical creation of the golem, Joseph, blurring the boundaries between myth, religion, magic, art and science.
Body of Glass implies the importance of blurring these boundaries by suggesting that a closed definition of SF based on masculinist conceptions of science leaves no room for women’s stories. By blurring the boundaries of SF, Piercy challenges the belief in a singular, objective truth, and allows women to construct their own stories, drawing from whichever multiple sources are relevant to make sense of their lives.