The Optical Effects of Lightning

I’ve just finished this The Optical Effects of Lightning – by S.J. Kember. It is an epistolary horror story – and a meditation on identity and bodily transformation – including explorations of twin identity, cloning and plastic surgery.

Sarah Kember also came to Sussex in December and gave a great keynote at the Staging Illusion conference here and included extracts from the novel as well as more traditional academic analysis. Fiction and dramatic techniques (like puppets) are a well developed approach in science studies. E.g. Charis Thompson’s “Confessions of a Bioterrorist: subject position and the valuing of reproductions,” in eds. S. Squier and A. Kaplan, Reproductive Technologies and Representation (Rutgers University Press, 1999) or Laura Watt’s Orkney Futures

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