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A Companion to Science Fiction

David Seed (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-1218-5
632 pages
September 2005, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Science Fiction (1405112182) cover image
A Companion to Science Fiction assembles essays by an international range of scholars which discuss the contexts, themes and methods used by science fiction writers.

  • This Companion conveys the scale and variety of science fiction.
  • Shows how science fiction has been used as a means of debating cultural issues.
  • Essays by an international range of scholars discuss the contexts, themes and methods used by science fiction writers.
  • Addresses general topics, such as the history and origins of the genre, its engagement with science and gender, and national variations of science fiction around the English-speaking world.
  • Maps out connections between science fiction, television, the cinema, virtual reality technology, and other aspects of the culture.
  • Includes a section focusing on major figures, such as H.G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, and Ursula Le Guin.
  • Offers close readings of particular novels, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
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Notes on Contributors.

Introduction: Approaching Science Fiction.

PART I: Surveying the Field:.

1. Hard Reading: The Challenges of Science Fiction: Tom Shippey (St Louis University).

2. The Origins of Science Fiction: George Slusser (University of California, Riverside).

3. Science Fiction /
Criticism: Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr. (DePauw University).

4. Science Fiction Magazines: The Crucibles of Change: Mike Ashley (author).

PART II: Topics and Debates:.

5. Utopia: Phillip E. Wegner (University of Florida).

6. Science Fiction and Religion: Stephen R. L. Clark (Liverpool University).

7. "Monsters of the Imagination": Gothic, Science, Fiction: Fred Botting (Lancaster University).

8. Science Fiction and Ecology: Brian Stableford (University College, Winchester).

9. Feminist Fabulation: Marleen S. Barr (Brandeis University).

10. Time and Identity in Feminist Science Fiction: Jenny Wolmark (University of Lincoln).

11. Science Fiction and the Cold War: M. Keith Booker (University of Arkansas).

PART III: Genres and Movements:.

12. Hard Science Fiction: Gary Westfahl (University of California, Riverside).

13. The New Wave: Rob Latham (University of Iowa).

14. Cyberpunk: Mark Bould (University of the West of England).

15. Science Fiction and Postmodernism: Veronica Hollinger (Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario).

16. The Renewal of "Hard" Science Fiction: Donald M. Hassler (Kent State University).

PART IV: Science Fiction Film:.

17. American Science Fiction Film: An Overview: Vivian Sobchack (UCLA).

18. Figurations of the Cyborg in Contemporary Science Fiction Novels and Films: Christine Cornea (University of Portsmouth).

19. British Television Science Fiction: Peter Wright (Edge Hill College of Higher Education, Lancashire).

PART V: The International Scene:.

20. Canadian Science Fiction: Douglas Barbour (University of Alberta).

21. Japanese and Asian Science Fiction: Takayuki Tatsumi (Keio University).

22. Australian Science Fiction: Sean McMullen (author) and Van Ikin (University of Western Australia).

PART VI: Key Writers:.

23. The Grandeur of H.G. Wells: Robert Crossley (University of Massachusetts).

24. Isaac Asimov: John Clute (author).

25. John Wyndham: The Facts of Life Sextet: David Ketterer (University of Liverpool and Concordia University, Montreal).

26. Philip K. Dick: Christopher Palmer (University of Melbourne).

27. Samuel Delaney: A Biographical and Critical Overview: Carl Freedman (Louisiana State University).

28. Ursula K. Le Guin: Warren G. Rochelle (University of Mary Washington).

29. Gwyneth Jones and the Anxieties of Science Fiction: Andy Sawyer (University of Liverpool Library).

30. Arthur C. Clarke: Edward James (University College Dublin).

31. Greg Egan: Russell Blackford (Monash University).

PART VII: Readings:.

32. Mary Shelley: Frankenstein:Susan E. Lederer (Yale University School of Medecine) and Richard M. Ratzan (emergency physician).

33. Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Herland: Jill Rudd (University of Liverpool).

34. Aldous Huxley: Brave New World: David Seed (University of Liverpool).

35. Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451: Brian Baker (University College Chester).

36. Joanna Russ: The Female Man: Jeanne Cortiel (University of Dortmund).

37. J.G. Ballard: Crash: Roger Luckhurst (Birkbeck College, University of London)38. Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid's Tale: Faye Hammill (Cardiff University).

39. William Gibson: Neuromancer: Andrew M. Butler (Canterbury Christ Church University College).

40. Kim Stanley Robinson: Mars Trilogy: CarolFranko (Kansas State University).

41. Iain M. Banks: Excession: Farah Mendlesohn (Middlesex University).

Index
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David Seed is Professor in the School of English at Liverpool University. He has published books on Joseph Heller, Thomas Pynchon, science fiction and the Cold War, and cultural representations of brainwashing. He edits the Science Fiction series of Liverpool University Press and serves as a consulting editor for the journal Science Fiction Studies.
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  • This Companion conveys the scale and variety of science fiction.
  • Shows how science fiction has been used as a means of debating cultural issues.
  • Essays by an international range of scholars discuss the contexts, themes and methods used by science fiction writers.
  • Addresses general topics, such as the history and origins of the genre, its engagement with science and gender, and national variations of science fiction around the English-speaking world.
  • Maps out connections between science fiction, television, the cinema, virtual reality technology, and other aspects of the culture.
  • Includes a section focusing on major figures, such as H.G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, and Ursula Le Guin.
  • Offers close readings of particular novels, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
See More
“The volume as a whole successfully acquaints diligent readers with an array of substantive avenues of critical inquiry into science fiction … Highly recommended." Choice

“[This] Companion provides unusual depth and detail … The main strengths here are the distinguished roster of contributors, who have plenty of thought-provoking ideas … Anyone seeking an immersion course in the history and criticism of [science fiction] today will find that their time is well repaid.”
Science Fiction Studies

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