Science Fiction / Edition 1

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In this new and timely cultural history of science fiction, Roger Luckhurst examines the genre from its origins in the late nineteenth century to its latest manifestations. The book introduces and explicates major works of science fiction literature by placing them in a series of contexts, using the history of science and technology, political and economic history and cultural theory to develop the means for understanding the unique qualities of the genre.

Luckhurst reads science fiction as a literature of modernity. The book examines how the genre provides a constantly modulating record of how human embodiment is transformed by scientific and technological change and how the very sense of self is imaginatively recomposed in popular fictions that range from utopian possibility to Gothic terror. This study charts the overlapping yet distinct histories of British and American science fiction, with commentary on the central authors, magazines, movements and texts from 1880 to the present day. It will be an invaluable guide and resource for all students taking courses on science fiction, technoculture and popular literature, but will equally be fascinating for anyone who has ever enjoyed a science fiction book.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An exciting, argumentative and invaluable overview of the mostinteresting literature out there. Roger Luckhurst does an excellentjob of embedding SF in history."

China Miéville, author of Perdido Street Stationand Iron Council

"This is a well-conceived, impressively researched andeloquently argued study of Anglo-American science fiction.Combining a sweeping command of cultural-historical contexts withincisive close readings of individual texts, Roger Luckhurstilluminates over a century's worth of print and mass-media SF.Whether discussing popular concerns about the pervasive power of"Mechanism" in the nineteenth century or avant-gardist critiques ofthe media-saturated "Society of the Spectacle" in the 1960s,Luckhurst's consistent emphasis on how SF registers the impact oftechno-scientific change gives his study a remarkable coherence. Insum, this is an essential and timely volume"

Rob Latham, University of Iowa

"This is a refreshing and lively survey of a very broad field.It usefully situates science fiction in its relevant culturalcontext and makes a valuable contribution to the history of thegenre."

David Seed, Liverpool University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Roger Luckhurst, Senior Lecturer at Birkbeck College University of London

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Table of Contents



PART I. EMERGENCE, 1880-1945.

1. Conditions of Emergence.

2. Britain: The Scientific Romance and the EvolutionaryParadigm.

3. America: Pulp Fictions and the Engineer Paradigm.


4. 1945: The Technocultural Conjuncture.

5. From Atomjocks to Cultural Critique: American SF,1939-1959.

6. ‘All that Age, Horribly Dislocated’: EnglandAfter 1945.


7. The 1960s.

8. The 1970s.

9. The 1980s.

10. The 1990s.


Selected Bibliography.


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