Rumors of War and Infernal Machines: Technomilitary Agenda-Setting in American and British Speculative Fiction

Overview

This provocative and unique work reveals the remarkably influential role of futuristic literature on contemporary political power in America. Tracing this phenomenon from its roots in Victorian Britain, Rumors of War and Infernal Machines offers a fascinating exploration of how fictional speculations on emergent or imaginary military technologies profoundly influence the political agendas and actions of modern superpower states. Gannon convincingly demonstrates that military fiction anticipated and even ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $71.66   
  • New (3) from $83.82   
  • Used (2) from $71.66   
Rumors of War and Infernal Machines: Technomilitary Agenda-setting in American and British Speculative Fiction

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$16.49
BN.com price
(Save 45%)$29.99 List Price

Overview

This provocative and unique work reveals the remarkably influential role of futuristic literature on contemporary political power in America. Tracing this phenomenon from its roots in Victorian Britain, Rumors of War and Infernal Machines offers a fascinating exploration of how fictional speculations on emergent or imaginary military technologies profoundly influence the political agendas and actions of modern superpower states. Gannon convincingly demonstrates that military fiction anticipated and even influenced the evolution of the tank, the development of the airplane, and also the bitter political battles within Britain's War Office and the Admiralty. In the United States, future-fictions and Cold-War thrillers were an officially acknowledged factor in the Pentagon's research and development agendas, and often gave rise—and shape—to the nation's strategic development of technologies as diverse as automation, atomic weaponry, aerospace vehicles, and the Strategic Defense Initiative ('Star Wars'). His book reveals a striking relationship between the increasing political influence of speculative military fiction and the parallel rise of superpower states and their technocentric ideologies. With its detailed political, historical, and literary analysis of U.S. and British fascination with hi-tech warfare, this lively and revealing study will appeal to students, literary and cultural scholars, military and history enthusiasts, and general readers.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Journal of American Studies
[H]ighly convincing....[A]n interesting read, offering numerous insights into the cultural influence of science fiction....[T]his book is a timely study – especially since war is top of the agenda in current American politics – showing how America is open to both the progressive nature of speculative texts and the dangerous imagining of deadly new technologies. We have only to look at the war in Iraq to see how dangerous our technological imagination can be.
Symbiosis
The combination of textual analysis with historical as well as political facts offers readers a multidimensional approach, as it enables them to assess the primary texts examined from a literary as well as socio-cultural perspective. This makes the book a useful source of reference to anyone interested in transatlantic superpower politics in relation to science fiction, technothrillers and apocalypse narratives....Gannon's well-documented endnotes and epigraphs at the start of every chapter make this book a valuable resource for the general reader, scholar, undergraduate and postgraduate student who wishes to explore the point where technology, politics and future-war literature intersect.
The Year's Work In English Studies
The book investigates an exchange between future-war fiction and political entities in Victorian and Edwardian Britain and in the USA through and beyond the Cold War....Gannon skilfully deploys a range of discursive materials to discuss and analyse fictional anticipations of a technologically enabled 'Great War....He then addresses America's rise to superpower status accompanied by literary imagining of nuclear destruction, death rays, cyborg soldiers, and starship troopers.
CHOICE
Gannon breaks new ground in a superior cultural study, investigating the influence military science fiction has exerted over military policy makers….The well-researched military backgrounds prove the author's thesis that science fiction has indeed influenced the conclusions of military think tanks. An essential acquisition for collections of science fiction and military history. Highly recommended.
American Literature
Emerging from both military history and literary criticism, this volume traces a remarkable genealogy of speculative fiction's "truth effects" in Britain and the United States...Gannon sees a powerful relationship between speculative military fiction and the rise of "technocentric" ideologies of the modern war state.
Analog Science Fiction & Fact
If you are of a mind to tive less credence to the humanities of war than to the sciences, set that aside long enough to read Rumors of War. I think you'll be glad you did.
Science Fiction Studies
In , Gannon offers a thorough study of what future-war writers anticipated.
Journal Of Technology Studies
A fascinating and disturbing subject....The theme, examined in rich detail, is...that fiction plays its part in shaping and colonizing the military imagination—perhaps even seeping into the process of procurement or research and development....Is star wars fiction conducive to star wars fact?
Choice
Gannon breaks new ground in a superior cultural study, investigating the influence military science fiction has exerted over military policy makers….The well-researched military backgrounds prove the author's thesis that science fiction has indeed influenced the conclusions of military think tanks. An essential acquisition for collections of science fiction and military history. Highly recommended.
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
If you are of a mind to tive less credence to the humanities of war than to the sciences, set that aside long enough to read Rumors of War. I think you'll be glad you did.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742540347
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/15/2005
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Gannon

Charles E. Gannon is associate professor of English at St. Bonaventure University.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Assessing Rumors—of War and Infernal Machines Chapter 2 Armageddon by Gaslight: Victorian Visions of Apocalypse Chapter 3 Opportunistic Anticipations and Accidental Insights: William Le Queux's Exploitation of Edwardian Invasion Anxieties Chapter 4 Promoters of the Probable, Prophets of the Possible: Technological Innovation and Edwardian Near-Future War Fiction Chapter 5 H.G. Wells: The Far-Future War Prophet of Edwardian England Chapter 6 Hard Numbers, Hard Cases, Hard Decisions: Politics and Future-War Fiction in America Chapter 7 An Imperfect Future Tense(d): Anticipations of Atomic Annihilation in Post-War American Science Fiction Chapter 8 Nuclear Fiction and Silo Psychosis: Narratives of Life in the Shadow of a Mushroom Cloud Chapter 9 Radio Waves, Death Rays, and Transgressive (Sub)Texts: Future-War Fiction in the Wide Black Yonder Chapter 10 Making Man-Machines of Mass Destruction: Future-War Authors as Seers in an Age of Cyborg Soldiers Chapter 11 Cultural Casualties as Collateral Damage: The Fragment-ing/-ation Effects of Future-War Fantasies vs. Fictions Chapter 12 Afterword: On Conducting a Literary Reconnaissance in Force—and in Earnest

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)