On this website I tend to focus on my fiction, but normally my academic self is much more evident than my fiction-writing self. When I meet people, I tell them: I’m a grad student; I teach French. In addition to my current research on body-swapping narratives, I spread the gospel truth that Jules Verne was in fact French and wrote in French (you’d be surprised how many people are surprised), and that Les Mains d’Orlac by Maurice Renard is the real basis for The Simpsons Halloween XI story “Hell Toupée.” Like, intellectual stuff, dude. And this month, it happens I’ve had two academic publications, so let’s unfurl that nerd flag with pride.
First off, here’s The French Review 89.3, which includes my article “A New Genealogy of French Science Fiction: Le Merveilleux scientifique in Third Republic Literature”!!!
In this article I give the proverbial academic finger to the fortress of Anglophone science fiction and argue for le merveilleux scientifique as a separate movement in speculative fiction that drew on parapsychology and spiritism as well as the branches of science that we more readily accept as science today. It’s peer reviewed, even! Here’s the Reviewer #1 guarantee:
Second! Back in November 2012, I attended the first ever conference dedicated solely to French and Francophone science fiction ever held in North America, kindly organized and hosted at the University of Regina. Alas, not everyone can attend these things, but we know you wish you could, so the conference organizers have published the presented essays in this fabulous collection:
My essay is on “The Challenge of the Invisible in Maurice Renard’s Le Péril bleu,” that being a pretty great novel in which an invisible menace is swiping people and animals off the face of the earth in Bugey. How do you see the truth of what’s happening when you’re trapped by your pathetic human senses?! Well, that is what (I claim) the novel is all about.
It is a sad fact that scholarly publications are hard to get for people who do not have access to a university library. If anyone out there is not so blessed and wants to read this stuff, shoot me a message and I’ll see what I can do.
So there, look how academic I am! How smart, how sophisticated, how very soignée! And now, to dispel all such notions, here is me at the Conference for French Science Fiction, discussing my deep thoughts about superpowers and life on the space station.