University of Washington Tacoma

Access*: Interdisciplinary Journal of Student Research and Scholarship

Author Biography

I am a Washingtonian-native and graduate of the University of Washington Tacoma where I majored in Arts, Media and Culture with a focus on literature. I work as a writing tutor at the campus writing center, and I love working with students, especially English Language Learners. I am an avid reader of feminist literature; I am currently working my way through the science fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin. My husband and I have long-term plans to live and teach in Mexico; but for the moment I am pursuing the MATESOL in order to work with adult English Language Learners here in the U.S.

Document Type

Undergraduate Research Paper


The Science Fiction genre, according to pioneer Science Fiction scholar Darko Suvin, has the power to elucidate “future-bearing elements from the empirical environment”(Suvin 7). In her short story, “Nine Lives,” Ursula K. Le Guin uses the trope of human cloning to dissect the “future-bearing” potential of a cultural obsession with youth, beauty and perfection, suggesting that the future of this obsession, paired with scientific advances that render such perfectibility possible, is a future of spiritual starvation. Le Guin explores the gendered dichotomies of strength and weakness, the dark side of unity without dissent, and the futility of altruism without empathy.


University of Washington Tacoma


TLIT 391 Science Fiction Literature


Andrea Modarres