Speculations On Speculation / Edition 1

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Science fiction is a field of literature that has great interest and great controversy among its writers and critics. This book examines the roots, history, development, current status, and future directions of the field through articles contributed by well-respected science fiction writers, teachers, and critics. The articles 'speculate' on what is science fiction, is science fiction serious literature, which writers are considered good science fiction writers, and where the genre of science fiction is headed with 21st-century writers. Contributors include Brian W. Aldiss, Kathryn Cramer, Samuel R. Delany , David G. Hartwell, Ursula K. Le Guin, Barry N. Malzberg, Darko Suvin, Michael Swanwick, and many other outstanding authors. Examining all genres and subgenres of science fiction writing, this book provides differing viewpoints on science fiction, making it a great basis for dynamic classroom discussions.

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Editorial Reviews

The Green Man Review
There are at least two obvious responses to the statement that Speculations on Speculation a group of essay son science fiction criticism, is one of the two or three most exciting books, fiction or nonfiction, that I have read recently: first, I've lost my mind, which, given that I have at one point or another lost track of nearly everything else, is a distinct possibility; second, this book must be very stimulating indeed, which I happen to think is the correct answer....There are too many substantial and sometimes brilliant contributions to this collection to discuss them all in detail, or even in passing. They range from Darko Suvin's scholarly essays soaked in Russian Formalism through Barry N. Malzberg's brash and challenging commentaries, through a fascinating contribution by Alexei and Cory Panshin linking science fiction to the 13th century Sufi poet Ibn Arabi, to Ursula K. LeGuin's "Science Fiction and Mrs. Brown," which is pure - well, pure LeGuin. And, as might be expected in a field that is composed of individuals who are very strongly individual, there isn't much in the way of consensus: Suvin more or less dismisses the mythic element in science fiction, which is the focus of the Panshins' essay - a not untypical occurrence....Speculations on Speculation is, however, a thought-provoking, often challenging group of essays about a phenomenon that some of us hold very dear, indeed.
Science Fiction Studies
...[a] useful addition to your professional library...Speculations on Speculation could be a part of an excellent course of essential reading on the genre and theory of sf.
Science Fiction Research Association Review
This varied and balanced survey will be of greatest value to veteran readers of SF and especially to teachers and would-be-critics of SF.
Reference and Research Book News
Writers and critics of science fiction discuss the genre and its elements in 24 reprinted articles and essays on identification, location, derivation, excavation, infatuation, and anticipation. Among the offerings are Ursula K. Le Guin on science fiction and Mrs. Brown, Brian W. Aldiss and David Wingrove on Mary Shelley and the origin of the species, Samuel R. Delany on some presumptuous approaches to science fiction, and Michael Swanwick with a user's guide to the postmoderns.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810849020
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 396
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

James Gunn, emeritus professor of English at the University of Kansas, has published more than 36 books and nearly 100 short stories. His novels include The Immortals, The Joy Makers, The Listeners, and The Dreamers. He has published seven collections of short stories, including Future Imperfect and Breaking Point. As a professor, he taught fiction writing and science fiction, including a long-running intensive Writers Workshop in Science Fiction. His books about science fiction include Alternate Worlds: The Illustrated History of Science Fiction, Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction, Inside Science Fiction, and the six-volume The Road to Science Fiction.Matthew Candelaria has published articles on science fiction and is recipient of the 2003 Golden Quill Award from the L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Acknowledgments Part 2 Introduction Part 3 Before We Begin Part 4 Part I: Identification Chapter 5 1 Toward a Definition of Science Fiction Chapter 6 2 Coming to Terms Chapter 7 3 Estrangement and Cognition Chapter 8 4 The Number of the Beast Chapter 9 5 On the Origins of Genre Chapter 10 Part II: Location Chapter 11 6 SF and the Genological Jungle Chapter 12 7 The Readers of Hard Science Fiction Chapter 13 8 Science Fiction and "Literature" - or, The Conscience of the King Chapter 14 9 Science Fiction and Mrs. Brown Chapter 15 10 I Could Have Been a Contender.... Part 16 Part III: Derivations Chapter 17 11 Introduction to Trillion Year Spree Chapter 18 12 On the Origin of Species: Mary Shelley Chapter 19 13 The Roots of Science Fiction Chapter 20 14 Science Fiction and the Dimension of Myth Part 21 Part IV: Excavation Chapter 22 15 Some Notes toward the True and the Terrible Chapter 23 16 Wrong Rabbit Chapter 24 17 The "Field" and the "Wave": The History of New Worlds Chapter 25 18 Space Opera Redefined Part 26 Part V: Infatuation Chapter 27 19 The Golden Age of Science Fiction Is Twelve Chapter 28 20 Some Presumptuous Approaches to Science Fiction Chapter 29 21 Touchstones Part 30 Part VI: Anticipation Chapter 31 22 A User's Guide to the Postmoderns Chapter 32 23 Science Fiction without the Future Chapter 33 24 Slipstream Part 34 Bibliography Part 35 Index Part 36 About the Contributors

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