Out of This World: Science Fiction but not as you know it

Out of This World: Science Fiction but not as you know it

by Mike Ashley
     
 

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What if aliens were to attack the earth tomorrow? Or supposing we could bend time, could we meet ourselves in a parallel universe? Or what if machines began to think and feel? Science fiction begins by posing such questions of the unknown and imagining the future world to come. Sometimes its stories zero in on our fears of technology, while at other times they give

Overview

What if aliens were to attack the earth tomorrow? Or supposing we could bend time, could we meet ourselves in a parallel universe? Or what if machines began to think and feel? Science fiction begins by posing such questions of the unknown and imagining the future world to come. Sometimes its stories zero in on our fears of technology, while at other times they give us ideas and inspiration for innovations yet to come. Out of This World, which accompanies a major British Library exhibition on the scope and nature of science fiction, celebrates the long history and many achievements of science fiction.
 
Organized into six sections—Alien Worlds, Time and Parallel Worlds, Future Worlds, Virtual Worlds, the End of the World, and Perfect Worlds—the book explores how science fiction has responded to the impact of science, technology, and socio-political change over time. From Mary Shelley to Margaret Atwood and J. G. Ballard, Out of This World reveals the glorious heritage and creativity of science fiction. It is illustrated throughout with examples of manuscripts, books, and magazines from some of the best science fiction artists in history, including Galileo’s drawings from 1610 of the surface of the moon; twentieth-century magazines such as Amazing Stories, Analog, Space Travel, Astounding, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Interzone, and Galaxy; book covers for such classic science fictions authors as Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin, Michael Moorcock, William Gibson, Aldous Huxley, and Philip K. Dick; and film stills from iconic movies such as Iron Man, The Matrix, Metropolis, and Blade Runner.
 
This accessible and visually inspiring book brings together a wealth of literary and artistic material to honor and explore this continually growing and rich genre of ideas and imagination.

Editorial Reviews

Wired

“Where did science fiction start — with Star Trek, or Hugo Gernsback’s stable of pulp magazines? Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, perhaps? Constructing histories of the genre is a favorite game of science fiction’s fans, creators and critics, and now the British Library has taken a turn. . . . Out of This World also clearly demonstrates that the genre isn’t the geeky clubhouse of white Western men that it is all too often (and, sadly, all too easily) accused of being; women and people of color feature strongly as creators and characters alike, with works that have expanded not just the remit of science fiction, but the ways in which we think about ourselves in relation to others.”—Wired Magazine’s Underwire blog, on the accompanying British Library exhibition

Science - Guy Riddihough

Out of This World offers a sumptuously illustrated survey of the themes and ideas that underpin science fiction. . . . Readers will find a wonderfully eclectic mix of book and magazine covers, art taken from stories and graphic novels, stills from films and plays, and even authors’ annotated manuscript pages. . . . I would recommend Out of This World to anyone with an interest in exploring science fiction far beyond the limits of Dune, Starship Troopers, and I, Robot.”
Choice - A. F. Winstead

“Ashley provides a condensed yet fascinating and entertaining history of science fiction. . . . Whether a novice, avid fan, or scholar, the reader will find something of interest in this brilliantly written book. Highly recommended.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780712358354
Publisher:
British Library, The
Publication date:
07/15/2011
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Mike Ashley is a renowned expert in the world of science fiction and fantasy literature. His many books include A Brief History of King Arthur, Taking Liberties, Gateways to Forever, and Transformations.

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