If immigrant fiction and crime fiction have tended to lock the legibility of Asian Americans strictly within the severely limited paradigms of assimilationist virtues and racialized vices, what might a marginal, subcultural genre like science fiction offer to the representational vocabulary? Asians and Asian Americans, of course, are no strangers to science fiction; indeed, the history of U.S. relations with Asian countries is uncannily reflected in American science fiction’s long Orientalist history. American science fiction, as a genre preoccupied with speculations of the future, has been engaged in a parallel discourse about the roles Asia and Asians will play in Western conceptions of the future.1 It has long entertained this question in explicit and implicit ways through Orientalist figurations that cast Asian culture and people as either oppressively collectivist or singularly iniquitous.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.