Making space: law and science fiction
Law and Literature
University of California Press
In this article I argue for greater attention to be paid to science fiction within sociolegal scholarship. In the first half of this paper I highlight that science fiction and law are already intertwined, science fiction having been commented on in a number of judicial decisions and law having been the focus of a number of science fiction texts. I then move on to outline how the law and science fiction are further interrelated. I begin by noting how law draws upon popular culture, and discuss how, in some instances, the law can realize science fiction. I then highlight science fiction's usefulness as critique and how this feeds into the way that law draws upon popular culture. In the second half of the article, I exemplify these processes using the case of the admixed embryo. I examine admixed embryos within science fiction, using the 1995 film Species as a starting point. I explore the reciprocal relationship between popular attitudes and science fiction, then question how these factors influenced the amendments to the U.K. Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. To conclude, I reassert the interpenetration of law and science fiction, arguing that both disciplines are inextricably tied to one another as they try to, respectively, regulate and envisage the future.
"Published in Law and Literature, Vol. 23, No. 2 (Summer 2011), pp. 241-261© 2011 by The Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University. Copying and permissions notice: Authorization to copy this content beyond fair use (as specified in Sections 107 and 108 of the U. S. Copyright Law) for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by [the Regents of the University of California/on behalf of the Sponsoring Society] for libraries and other users, provided that they are registered with and pay the specified fee via Rightslink® on [JSTOR (http://www.jstor.org/r/ucal)] or directly with the Copyright Clearance Center, http://www.copyright.com."
Vol. 23, pp. 241 - 261