"The Future is Today": Unlocking Science Fiction


This schedule is regularly updated to reflect changes and adjustments made according to our progress through the materials in class.
Please check here regularly for the reading schedule as well as due dates.

**Readings and assignments are DUE on the date listed unless otherwise noted.**

Week One: 05-09 January
Week Six: 09-13 February
Week Two: 12-16 January
Week Seven: 16-20 February
Week Three: 19-23 January
Week Eight: 23-27 February
Week Four: 26-30 January
Week Nine: 01-05 March
Week Five: 02-06 February
Week Ten: 08-12 March
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Framing Science Fiction
Week One
05 January - Mon
Introduction to the Course
The course syllabus may be downloaded here.

06 January - Tues
University Snow Closure 

07 January - Wed
VoW: Hartwell, pp.81-96; Delany pp. 442-457 One page summary of Delany's key arguments
08 January - Thurs
In-class viewing: "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'"
Online: X-Files Background Material/Episode Primer

09 January - Fri
Reader: Cadigan, "Roadside Rescue"; McKeown, "Lair of the Lesbian Love Goddess"; Atwood, "Freeforall"

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Citizenship, the Atomic Age, and the Korean War
Week Two
12 January - Mon
Heinlein, Starship Troopers, pp. 1-129
Heinlein author summaries due
13 January - Tues
Starship Troopers, 130-164

14 January - Wed Starship Troopers, 165-201

15 January - Thurs
Starship Troopers, 202-263
E-Post due by 10pm
16 January - Fri
Heinlein Discussion Day
View Starship Troopers by today (on reserve)
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The Social Body and Metahistorical Narratives (I)
Week Three
19 January - Mon
NO CLASS - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

20 January - Tues
In-class viewing: X-Files, "Killswitch"
Online: X-Files Background Material/Episode Primer
McCaffrey, Tiptree, Jr., Gibson, and Schuyler author summaries due
21 January - Wed
VoW: Campbell, Jr., pp. 216-221; McCaffrey, pp. 17-30; Varley, pp. 491-513

22 January - Thurs
VoW, Tiptree, Jr., pp. 514-539
Reader: Gibson, "The Winter Market"; Jurek, Straight Fiction (excerpt)
Online: Optional Background Material: "William Gibson: Crossing Borders"
E-Post due by 10pm
23 January - Fri
Reader: Schuyler, Black No More (excerpt)

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Regulating and Policing Technobodies
Week Four
26 January - Mon
Reader: Eskridge, Solitaire (excerpt)
Eskridge, Scott, Card, and O'Brien author summaries due
27 January - Tues
Reader: Scott, Trouble and Her Friends (excerpt)
Optional Background Material: "Melissa Scott: Of Masks and Metaphors"

28 January - Wed
VoW: Card, pp. 188-215
Reader: Smith, "Scream Angel"
Online: Optional Background Material: "Orson Scott Card: Casting Shadows"

29 January - Thurs
VoW: Jones, pp. 564-584; Williamson, pp. 141-148
E-Post due by 10pm
30 January - Fri
Reader: Martens, "The Times She Went Away"; O'Brien, The Things They Carried (excerpt); King, Keeping Watch (excerpt)

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Vietnam in Space/Metahistorical Narratives (II)
Week Five
02 February - Mon
Haldeman, The Forever War, pp. v-80
Online/Reader: Optional Background Material: "Joe Haldeman: Forever War and Peace"
Online: Optional Background Material: "Joe Haldeman: Art for Art's Sake"
Haldeman author summaries due
Midterm review distributed
03 February - Tues
The Forever War, pp. 81-185
**Extra Credit Opportunity: William Gibson, 7pm, Kane 130**

04 February - Wed
The Forever War, pp. 186-278
05 February - Thurs
Discussion/Review Day

06 February - Fri
In-class portion of the midterm; remember to bring a blue book!
Take-home mid-term distributed
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Productive Waste
Week Six
09 February - Mon
Reader: Griffith, Slow River (excerpt)
Griffith, Stableford, Bear, and Kress author summaries due
10 February - Tues
VoW: Stableford, 669-675
Reader: Finch, "The Day after the Day the War Ended"
Midterm due at the beginning of class
11 February - Wed
VoW: Kelly, pp. 97-140
Gibson extra credit due
12 February - Thurs
VoW: Bear, pp. 31-48; Kress, pp. 585-597
Online: Optional Background Material: "Greg Bear: Continuing the Dialogue"
Optional Background Material: "Nancy Kress: Juggling Realities"

13 February - Fri

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Embodiment and Reproduction (I)
Week Seven
16 February - Mon
NO CLASS - Presidents' Day

17 February - Tues
Spencer, Alien Taste, pp. 1-150
Spencer author summaries due
18 February - Wed
Alien Taste, pp. 151-210

19 February - Thurs
Alien Taste, pp. 211-245
E-Post due by 10pm
20 February - Fri
Alien Taste, pp. 246-313

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Embodiment and Reproduction (II)/Sentience and Information
Week Eight
23 February - Mon
Reader: Butler, "Bloodchild"
Reader/Online: Optional Background Matieral: "Octavia E. Butler: Persistence"
Butler, Benford, Vinge, and Swanwick author summaries due
24 February - Tues
VoW: Benford, pp. 253-262
Reader: Roberts, "New Model Computer"
**Extra Credit Opportunity: Octavia Butler, 7pm, University Bookstore**

25 February - Wed
VoW: Vinge, pp. 740-790

26 February - Thurs
Reader: Jaffe, "Max Headroom"; Swanwick, "Smoke and Mirrors"
Online: Optional Background Material: "Michael Swanwick: Of All Plausible Worlds"
E-Post due by 10pm  **update**
27 February - Fri
Discussion/Review Day

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Past Perfect/Future Victorian (I) or,
How we can learn to stop worrying about nuclear an
nihilation by using a Victorian metaphor

Week Nine
01 March - Mon
Reader: Koontz, "The Undercity"; Szego, "Angel's Kitchen"
Koontz and Stephenson author summaries due
02 March - Tues
Stephenson, The Diamond Age, pp. 1-96
Online: Optional Background Material: "Neal Stephenson: Cryptomancer"
Butler extra credit due
03 March - Wed
The Diamond Age, pp. 97-196

04 March - Thurs
The Diamond Age, pp. 197-251
E-Post due by 10pm
05 March - Fri
Stephenson Discussion Day

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Past Perfect/Future Victorian (II)
Week Ten
08 March - Mon
The Diamond Age, pp. 253-363

09 March - Tues
The Diamond Age, pp. 363-432

10 March - Wed
The Diamond Age, pp. 433-499
E-Post due by 10pm
11 March - Thurs
Discussion Day/Review

12 March - Fri
In-class portion of the final; remember to bring a blue book!
Take-home final distributed
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