UWB BIS 384A, Autumn 2007
Literary and Popular Genres: The Social Functions of Science Fiction
Recent SF and news
"The man behind Battlestar Galactica," Salon.com (Mar 24, 2007)
"The Universal Appeal of Battlestar Galactica," NPR (Oct 21, 2006)
About reading SF genre
Edward James, "Reading Science Fiction," in Science Fiction in the 20th Century (low quality pdf)
Brooks Landon, "Culture of Science Fiction--Rationalizing Genre," in Science Fiction after 1900 (low quality pdf)
Tom Moylan, "Dangerous Visions," in Scraps of the Untainted Sky (low quality pdf)
John Frow, "Approaching Genre" and "Genre and Interpretation," from textbook of modern genre theory (low quality pdf)
Veronica Hollinger, "Contemporary Trends in SF Criticism" (html file, from Science Fiction Studies)
Cambridge Companion to SF, introduction on reading SF (library reference book).
Ursula K. LeGuin, "Introduction" to the Norton Anthology of Science Fiction (pdf)
Precursors to SF
Brian Stableford, "Science Fiction before the Genre" (pdf)
H. G. Wells background info:
Sources on 19th-century evolutionary theory and degeneration, including essays by Wells on future human evolution (pdf)
Roger Luckhurst, "Britain: the scientific romance and the evolutionary paradigm" (pdf)
Paul Fayter, "Strange new worlds of space and time: late Victorian science and science fiction" (pdf)
I. F. Clarke, "Future-war fiction: the first main phase 1871-1900" (link to journal Science Fiction Studies)
Thomas Renzi, "The War of the Worlds" [as adapted for film] (pdf)
Reviews of scholarly material on Wells/WOTW (html from Science Fiction Studies)
Original illustrations from the 1897 magazine publication of "The War of the Worlds " (Word doc) (link)
H.G. Wells quotation from his 1934 Experiment in Autobiography:
"The thing that makes such imaginations interesting is their translation into commonplace terms and a rigid exclusion of other marvels from the story. Then it becomes human . For the writer of fantastic stories to help the reader to play the game properly, he must help him in every possible unobtrusive way to domesticate the impossible hypothesis. He must trick him into an unwary concession to some plausible assumption and get on with his story while the illusion holds." And "I realized that the more impossible the story I had to tell, the more ordinary must be the setting."
See Wikipedia entries on the Golem, homunculus, automaton as precursors of the robot. The duck.
E. M. Forster, "The Machine Stops" short story 1909 (link).
Ambrose Bierce, "Moxon's Master" short story 1909 about chess-playing robot that kills master (link)
Jon Turney, "Into the Brave New World," article about the history of biology in the early 20th century and its connections to SF (pdf)
Encyclopedia of SF articles about Capek and robots (pdf).
Article on Capek as dramatist and contemporary reception of RUR (pdf).
Y. Zamyatin 1923 essay, "Literature, Revolution, Entropy, and Other Matters" (pdf)
D. J. Richards, Zamyatin: A Soviet Heretic (pdf)
"Frankenstein: A Face for the Monster" (website) with info and analysis of the 1931 film.
Brian Stableford, "Frankenstein and the Origins of Science Fiction" (pdf)
Edward James, "The Victory of American SF, 1940-1960" (pdf)
Raffaella Baccolini, "In-Between Subjects: C.L. Moore's 'No Woman Born'" (pdf)
Lester del Rey, "Helen O'Loy" 1938 (pdf)
Jack Williamson, "With Folded Hands" 1947 (pdf)
(both robot stories)
Harry Bates, "Farewell to the Master," 1940 story that Day the Earth Stood Still was based on (link)
Tom Godwin, "The Cold Equations" 1954 classic "hard SF" (pdf)
Robert Heinlein, "All You Zombies" 1959 classic time travel (pdf)
William Gibson, "The Gernsback Continuum" 1988 story about Golden Age SF (pdf)
New wave and postmodernism
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Last modified: 11/06/2007 4:13 PM