Science Fiction: A Very Short Introduction [NOOK Book]

Overview

Science Fiction has proved notoriously difficult to define. It has been explained as a combination of romance, science and prophecy; as a genre based on an imagined alternative to the reader's environment; and as a form of fantastic fiction and historical literature.

It has also been argued that science fiction narratives are the most engaged, socially relevant, and responsive to the modern technological environment. This Very Short ...
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Science Fiction: A Very Short Introduction

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Overview

Science Fiction has proved notoriously difficult to define. It has been explained as a combination of romance, science and prophecy; as a genre based on an imagined alternative to the reader's environment; and as a form of fantastic fiction and historical literature.

It has also been argued that science fiction narratives are the most engaged, socially relevant, and responsive to the modern technological environment. This Very Short Introduction doesn't offer a history of science fiction, but instead ties examples of science fiction to different historical moments, in order to demonstrate how science fiction has evolved over time.

David Seed looks not only at literature, but also at drama and poetry, as well as film. Examining recurrent themes in science fiction he looks at voyages into space, the concept of the alien and alternative social identities, the role of technology in science fiction, and its relation to time - in the past, present, and future.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780191620102
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • Publication date: 6/23/2011
  • Series: Very Short Introductions
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 723,319
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

David Seed is Professor in the School of English, University of Liverpool.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. Voyages into space
2. Alien encounters
3. Science fiction and technology
4. Utopias and dystopias
5. Fictions of time
6. The field of science fiction

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Required Reading for All Science Fiction Fans

    I am a big fan of science fiction, and like most other fans consider myself fairly knowledgeable about this genre. Nonetheless, I have not thought deeply and systematically about science fiction, and this very short introduction was very informative and enlightening.

    This book presents a good short overview of some of the most important Sci-fi writers of all time: H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, and many others. This is a very nice and historically well-researched introduction, with plenty of references to some of the most influential works of science fiction. The book is structured thematically along the main subgenres of science fiction: voyages into space, alien encounters, science fiction and technology, utopias and dystopias, and fictions of time. I would have also liked to see a dedicated genetic manipulation and biotechnology chapter. This has become one of the most significant science fiction themes in recent years. The last chapter deals with the field of science fiction as such, and it takes a bird's view of science fiction literature.

    One slight issue that I have with this introduction is its overwhelming emphasis on science fiction literature. A few notable movies are mentioned, but only as book tie-ins. The fact is that the most successful movie of all time (Avatar), as well as many others on the top-grossing list, are all very much science fiction works. Far from being a fringe, science fiction is one of the most dominant forms of the cinematic arts. Hence an introductory book like this one should have given it much more space. Another minor annoyance are the several attempts throughout the book to raise the issues that are very dominant in the academic literature departments, but are very far from the concerns of most science fiction readers. I feel that these attempts were made in order to make science fiction seem more important from the point of view of "serious" literary studies, but I find these concerns somewhat artificial. Fortunately these digressions are few and far between.

    Overall, this is a very well written book that would be of a lot of interest to all the science fiction fans, as well as to people who want to learn more about this fascinating genre.

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