This guide is for students enrolled in ENGL 191: Science Fiction with Dr. Christyne Berzsenyi on the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Campus. The guide includes research sources specific to the science fiction genre, including books, encyclopedias, and databases.
Understanding Contemporary American Science Fiction: The Age of Maturity, 1970-2000 explores the major trends and developments during three decades that witnessed science fiction's most dramatic progression from subliterary escapist entertainment to a more sophisticated literature of ideas. Darren Harris-Fain suggests that to understand American science fiction fully, it is essential to realize that the current field with all its variety results from the proceeding decades of writings. In addition, he contends that although much science fiction of merit was written in America prior to 1970, the latter decades of the twentieth century witnessed a dramatic improvement in quality, even as the field fragmented into a variety of subgenres and as writers sought to transcend earlier critical dismissals. Harris-Fain discusses significant and representative works, most of which mainstream literary scholars and critics ignore, as he charts the historical and literary development of contemporary American science fiction. He identifies influences and events central to the genre's growth, including the internal divisions along both literary and political lines experienced during the Vietnam era; the influence of the feminist movement and other contemporary concerns; the increasing contributions of female, African American, and gay and lesbian writers; and the emergence of such significant trends as hard science fiction, cyberpunk, alternate history, and shared-world stories. Harris-Fain also considers literary science fiction's relationship to the mass media, the effects the popularity of fantasy has on the field, and academia's continued misprizing of the genre.
Works of science fiction and fantasy increasingly explore gender issues, feature women as central characters, and are written by women writers. This book examines women's contributions to science fiction and fantasy across a range of media and genres, such as fiction, nonfiction, film, television, art, comics, graphic novels, and music. The first volume offers survey essays on major topics, such as sexual identities, fandom, women's writing groups, and feminist spirituality; the second provides alphabetically arranged entries on more specific subjects, such as Hindu mythology, Toni Morrison, magical realism, and Margaret Atwood. Entries are written by expert contributors and cite works for further reading, and the set closes with a selected, general bibliography. Students and general readers love science fiction and fantasy. And science fiction and fantasy works increasingly explore gender issues, feature women as central characters, and are written by women writers. Older works demonstrate attitudes toward women in times past, while more recent works grapple with contemporary social issues. This book helps students use science fiction and fantasy to understand the contributions of women writers, the representation of women in the media, and the experiences of women in society. Entries are written by expert contributors and cite works for further reading A selected, general bibliography Short, alphabetically arranged entries help students learn about more specific subjects related to women in science fiction and fantasy
In Science Fiction and Extro-Science Fiction, Quentin Meillassoux addresses the problem of chaos and of the constancy of natural laws in the context of literature. With his usual argumentative rigor, he elucidates the distinction between science fiction, a genre in which science remains possible in spite of all the upheavals that may attend the world in which the tale takes place, and fiction outside-science, the literary concept he fashions in this book, a fiction in which science becomes impossible. With its investigations of the philosophies of Hume, Kant, and Popper, Science Fiction and Extro-Science Fiction broadens the inquiry that Meillassoux began in After Finitude, thinking through the concrete possibilities and consequences of a chaotic world in which human beings can no longer resort to science to ground their existence. It is a significant milestone in the work of an emerging philosopher, which will appeal to readers of both philosophy and literature. The text is followed by Isaac Asimov's essay "The Billiard Ball."
Gender and Environment in Science Fiction focuses on the variety of ways that gender and “nature” interact in science fiction films and fictions, exploring questions of different realities and posing new ones.
The first science fiction course in the American academy was held in the early 1950s. In the sixty years since, science fiction has become a recognized and established literary genre with a significant and growing body of scholarship. The Cambridge History of Science Fiction is a landmark volume as the first authoritative history of the genre. Over forty contributors with diverse and complementary specialties present a history of science fiction across national and genre boundaries, and trace its intellectual and creative roots in the philosophical and fantastic narratives of the ancient past. Science fiction as a literary genre is the central focus of the volume, but fundamental to its story is its non-literary cultural manifestations and influence. Coverage thus includes transmedia manifestations as an integral part of the genre's history, including not only short stories and novels, but also film, art, architecture, music, comics, and interactive media.